This chicken soup will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. As the soup simmers, a rich, mouth-watering aroma wafts through the air, teasing and testing your patience against the clock. Imagine supple chunks of chicken, flavorful red wolfberries (attractive and also nourishing to your body!), and black shiitake mushrooms in a clear golden broth.
Whenever the whole extended family gets together to celebrate festive occasions like Dragon Boat Festival or Winter Festival, my mother-in-law will prepare this soup with a whole chicken; a very big pot for 10-12 people! For the kids and I, Grandma’s Famous Chicken Soup is no ordinary soup but is synonymous with feeling of the love and warmth of family reunion. Here’s how to cook the delicious broth in a small kitchen using 3 big chicken thighs (with attached drumsticks).
3 chicken thighs with drumsticks
2 – 3 pieces dried scallops (soaked overnight)
2 pieces of dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked overnight)
1 small piece of pork, about 30 grams, cut into smaller chunks
a handful of wolfberries (washed and drained)
10 cups of water
2 stalks of spring onion
1 small piece of fresh ginger, about the size of a quarter (25 cents coin)
salt to taste
1. Wash and soak the dried shiitake mushrooms overnight. Throw away the water in which you soaked the mushrooms. Cut the mushrooms into small cubes.
2. Wash and soak the dried scallops overnight in a cup of water. Keep the water in which the dried scallops are soaked, it can be added to the soup.
3. Remove the chicken skin by peeling it back over the drumstick and pulling it out at the leg bone part. Wash and put the chicken pieces aside.
4. Cover the pork in a bit of water and parboil it for a few minutes to get rid of the blood and scum. Throw away the water.
5. Put the chicken pieces into the pot with the pork. Add all the other ingredients, 10 cups of fresh water and the water in which you soaked the dried scallops. Cook over medium high heat for half an hour or until it becomes a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and boil for another 1 hour.
6. If necessary, add in 1 – 2 more cups of water towards the last half hour of the cooking period if you noticed that too much water had evaporated.
If you had forgotten to soak the dried shiitake mushrooms or the dried scallops the night before, you can soak them in hot water (separately) at least 2 hours before cooking and it would be almost as good. Enjoy! 🙂