This Soup Cures Blindness

Not feeling well? Mom will make you some chicken noodle soup from a can and while this may stir up some nostalgia its not as helpful as old school chicken soup. Here’s the part where I warn you about sodium intake and eating clean but the truth is it doesn’t taste as nice. 

I checked my library of cookbooks from French to Korean to Sichuan, then I texted my chef friend Janey who is from Beijing who also workes at Daniel. They all say basically the same thing so this isn’t going to be a hard dish at all just lengthy but most of the time is simmering, so..,

I used to make this dish back when I owned The Family Wash for all the traveling musicians during the cold season. When you know that you’ll be at your house doing chores is a good time to prepare this soup. Have your children (if you have them if not try to get some free child labor from the neighborhood kids, they love to do shit for people who aren’t their parents) help with the prep, even a preschooler can peel a knob of ginger with a spoon.

Buy a whole chicken. Place it in a pot, cover with water, and set it on to boil. Once the pot has boiled for five minutes carefully take it to the sink and dump out all the water replacing it with fresh water. I might use a colander to catch the bird when dumping out the water. Replace the pot with chicken and fresh water on to boil then set to simmer once it has reached a boil. This will get rid of the impurities from the bird.

When you’ve out the chicken on to boil the second time add to the water one knob of ginger, three garlic cloves, the white part of a bunch of scallions, one bay leaf, and one tablespoon of salt. Let this bird simmer for an hour or so then check to see if the meat is just done. Take a slotted spoon and some tongs to remove the bird from the stock. Put it on a plate to cool, once you can handle it slip the meat from the skin and bones.

Place the skin and bones back in the stock to simmer for two more hours. I would recommend that you periodically check the water level and add more as needed. The alarm on your phone was made for this.

Times up! You can either fish out the aromatics and bones from the stock or use a colander and another pot to tip the liquid into. Now you should have a pot of stock and a plate of shredded chicken, let them come together.

This is the part where it gets fun. To your stock add three cloves garlic minced, juice of a lemon or two, a hand full of dried black wood ear mushrooms, a glug of soy sauce, a glug of sesame oil, one carrot julienned, and as much Rooster sauce as you can handle. I’d start with one teaspoon and work up. Top off with sliced green scallions and you’re done.

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1971-present day Chicago