When I began this blog I had no intention of blogging recipes. None. Like all good intentions it has gone by the wayside as of today. Never say never really should be my life motto.
Having said that, don’t expect it to become a regular feature. It you want good recipes then Gourmet Girlfriend is your girl. Seriously. She is the shiz.
Earlier this week I posted about my chicken soup. People began asking for the recipe. It’s tricky, because recipe is a loose term when this is made. And I can’t really claim it as my own. My sister made it for us when she was staying and we all loved it. The Green Eyed Girl asks for it all the time, and when it’s such a fantastic family meal it is hard to say no.
So then, here goes my attempt at recipe blogging.
Chicken soup for the soul.
For the stock:
About 750g chicken bones.
One brown onion, quartered.
A 3-ish cm piece of fresh ginger, sliced. For the stock I don’t bother peeling it.
2 carrots broken in half
1 stick of celery, broken into a few pieces.
Whatever leftover herbs you have, such as parsley or coriander that need to be used up, stems, roots and all.
For the soup:
2 chicken breasts (this feeds four of us with hearty after soccer training appetites)
Another piece of fresh ginger.
2 cloves of garlic
Half a red chilli with or without seeds, depending on your taste
Half a bunch of fresh coriander, roots, stem and leaves
A pack of wonton wrappers (in my supermarket they are in the fresh pasta fridge section)
1 cup of frozen peas, or snow peas if in season
Fresh bean shoots
Noodles. I use organic Japanese somen noodles (easy to find in most supermarkets.) These cook super fast, hold their shape and don’t get sticky or gluggy.
Extra coriander, fresh chilli or pickled chilli (my personal favourite) for garnish.
For the stock add all the ingredients to a large saucepan and cover with water. Simmer (with the lid off) for an hour and a half or so - told you recipe was a loose term! As it simmers skim the surface of the scum so the end stock will be nice and clear.
I try to make the stock a day in advance. So it can then sit in the fridge and any fats rise to the top and solidify, making it easy to skim off before using. But in the real world this just doesn’t always happen, so skimming as you go is also good.
When the water level has reduced (in my pot when it is about 3/4 full after beginning with a full pot) take from the heat and strain the stock. All the bones and veggies have done their work and are removed.
Let the stock sit for a while – don’t be tempted to add salt yet, as the wontons and the soy sauce will add more flavour later on.
When ready to start cooking, put the stock on a low heat to simmer, adding the peeled and very thinly sliced slivers of fresh ginger and some chopped fresh chilli if you are using it.
Cut the bok choy stems into small pieces and then the leaves – they will go in the stock at different times as the leaves cook very quickly.
If using snow peas, prepare them. My preference is the string them and leave them whole.
If using frozen peas they can go in straight from the freezer.
For the wontons place the roughly cut chicken, coriander leaves, roots and stems, chilli, garlic in a food processor and blitz to make a fairly smooth mixture.
Grab a pasty brush and a small jug of water.
Place wonton wrappers on a dry work surface ready to add the chicken filling.
Each wonton wrapper needs to have all four edges brushed with a little water before placing a heaped teaspoon of the chicken mixture into the middle. Bring the four sides up and twist together and place on a dry surface (I like to put them on baking paper)
When all the wontons are done, place them in the simmering stock. They do not take too long to cook, less than 10 minutes. I check by taking one from the pot and cutting it open. Yeah, super technical.
After the wontons have been put in, add the bok choy stems and frozen peas or snow peas and noodles. Add the bok choy leaves in the last minute or so of cooking. Taste the soup and add soy sauce if needed.
When the wontons are cooked through, ladle the soup into bowls. Add bean shoots and chopped coriander. If you want more chilli, add some to the garnish, or like I do, a dollop of pickled chilli, like the jar in the photo above.
And that is my chicken soup for the soul.
Like I said, I am no recipe blogger. That was all kinds of exhausting. I bow to those who do this all the time. As well as Ruth from Gourmet Girlfriend, check out Sandra on The $120 Food Challenge for some fantastic budget friendly meals.
And that, dear readers is my first (and perhaps only) recipe blog post. I don’t know quite how to finish it… I may ramble on forever at this rate… oh look, a song…