Asian Chicken Stock
If you spend much time in the kitchen you know how important a good stock is to have on hand. You’ll also know how much better a homemade stock with less preservatives and additives is than store bought. There are definitely times when there’s no other option than using a store bought stock but whenever possible I use my homemade stock for the best flavor.
There are so many different options although in my opinion they’re fairly interchangeable. Meaning, a good chicken or vegetable stock can be used in just about anything so if you have a recipe that calls for chicken, veggie stock will work just fine.
I normally don’t keep beef stock but that’s next on my agenda. I always have chicken. I make a HUGE pot and keep some and refrigerate it and then freeze the rest in small containers. Recently I ran out so I went to Whole Foods (it is my happy place you know) and got all the freshest herbs and organic vegetables and chicken. It makes me feel better to know exactly what I’m getting and to know I’m eliminating at least some of the hormones and pesticides from my family’s diet. This time though as I was gathering all the ingredients I needed for my traditional chicken stock, I saw several things that screamed Asian Chicken Stock and I couldn’t resist.
Normally my regular chicken stock might seem slightly bland if you tried to drink it like a soup without doctoring it any. There’s of course a reason for that. Since it goes in so many different dishes, it needs to be able to blend well with anything and not contribute to the saltiness in any way (it’s simple to add a little bouillon and or salt and it’s perfect to drink…we do it all the time when someone gets the sniffles or just wants a light, warm snack) but this Asian Chicken Stock is different. I will use it predominantly in finished dishes and for drinking like a soup. I’ll add noodles and veggies or chicken for a homemade noodle bowl or braise chicken in it. There are so many possibilities. I already have a plan for some fish that’s in the fridge right now.
This recipe has lots of ingredients. I kind of went all out but I’m so happy I did. However, if there’s an element you don’t like or don’t want to splurge on, leave it out. There’s so much flavor you have some wiggle room to make it the way you’d like. I added some Thai chilies and I was a little apprehensive at first but when I tasted the finished product…wow! It has the slightest flavor of a very mild hot and sour broth. Next time I’ll use more chilies. I bought 6 little chilies and paid $.12. Yes, that is cents. How can you go wrong with that?
A Few Things…
- Smell ALL the fresh herbs and spices prior to purchasing. Some have a very strong and distinct flavor so make sure you like it first. If you’re not sure, cut the quantity in half.
- Make sure you split the chilies in half. I didn’t at first and had to go back and add more and split them because they weren’t releasing any flavor.
- You might want to hold off until the end to add the remainder of the soy so that you don’t get it too strong or too salty.
- 2 roasting hens
- 4 stalks celery with leaves cut into thirds
- 1 large onion cut into quarters
- 4 large carrots cut into thirds
- 8 whole cardamom pods
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 head garlic cut in half horizontally
- 2 1 inch knuckles ginger peeled and crushed with a knife
- 4-5 star anise
- 1 stalk lemon grass split lengthwise
- 4-5 Thai chilies split lengthwise
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 1 cup fish or oyster sauce
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 handful fresh cilantro
- 1 cup soy or to taste
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
- 8-9 quarts of filtered water
- Place hens in the bottom of a large stock pot and cover with remaining ingredients reserving half the soy sauce.
- Fill with water and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat down to a simmer, cover and simmer for 3-4 hours.
- Taste stock and add remaining soy and any additional salt if needed.
- Allow to cool and skim the fat off the top.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze for 4 months.
What will you add your Asian Chicken Stock to?