Friday, 15 May 2009
A lonely dinner - chicken macaroni soup.
You know how food from other countries can seem really strange? And then you think to yourself, 'it's obviously not strange for them, because that's whast they've grown up with.. but DAYUMN! That's some weird food.'
Well, this is a dish that may seem slightly weird to some. I mean, it's not outlandish in any way, but I find a lot of people don't really get how delicious this soup is!
I don't think of it as anything exciting since I've been eating it my whole life. Actually, it's one of my top 3 favourite meals ever, but whatever.
Chicken macaroni soup (praise the lord) is from Singapore, where my mum grew up, and it is absolutely divine. I don't know why I like it quite as much as I do, but there you go.
As usual, I don't have any weights or measurements because this is also a meal that heavily depends on personal taste. Go with what you feel you will like, but if you feel you want some weights, give me a shout.
chicken (breasts, thighs, wings, a whole bird, whatever you've got)
spring onions (i.e. scallions, green onions, salad onions)
a red chilli
sriracha chilli sauce
chicken stock cube or concentrate
How to do it:
1. Fill a big pot with water and place over a medium heat. Add the raw chicken. (The base of the soup is a chicken stock so meat on the bone is best, but you can use breast meat and add more stock cubes.)
2. Chop up the rest of the ingredients for the stock.
Slice the ginger into thick coins, and squash the garlic cloves under a knife. Add to the pot.
3. While the stock is bubbling away happily, get on with the garnishes.
Finely slice the spring onions and place in a ramekin or small bowl. Slice the chilli into rounds, as thinly as you can, and put in another ramekin. Chop up the coriander, and, you guessed it - put in a remekin.
4. Once the chicken has cooked and become tender, remove from the pot and shred the meat. Throw away the bones and put the shredded meat into a serving bowl. Taste the stock. It'll probably need some more chicken flavour, so add a cube or concentrate from a bottle. Keep the stock on a low simmer.
5. Cook your beansprouts by blanching them in a big pot of boiling water. You want them to still have some crunch so don't overcook them. Put the cooked beansprouts to the side. In the same water, cook the macaroni according to packet instructions. Once cooked and drained, return to the pot and douse in sesame oil to stop it from sticking and also to give a faint aroma that's crucial to this dish.
6. Pour some soy sauce over the sliced red chilli in the ramekin.
7. To serve: place the ramekins of spring onion, chilli in soy sauce and coriander on the table along with the bowls of beansprouts and chicken and the pots of soup and macaroni. Also have on the table the condiments (soy sauce, sesame oil, chilli sauce). Construct your own bowl of soup and enjoy!
This is the way we have it at home - everyone serves themselves and adds as much or as little of each component as they want.
I have my chicken soup with lots of shredded chicken, beansprouts, sliced chilli, a squirt of sriracha, copious amounts of spring onion and lots of soy sauce.
Your finished bowl, however you wish to garnish it, will be fragrant with ginger, very faintly garlicky, and extremely, extremely delicious.
You could also have some chinese veg in this, such as pak choi, or substitute the macaroni for noodles (but trust me, macaroni is the best here!).
Sorry for the rubbish photo. I'm at the flat so I only have access to a rather old compact digital camera. (But look how sparkling and white my stove is ;D) And unfortuently I don't have those lovely big chinese bowls at the flat, or chinese spoons so I had to have it in a tiny white bowl ):
I love chicken macaroni soup more than life itself.