Chicken Soul for the Soup

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Perhaps some of you would think I made a typo on the title of this post …, I didn’t.

I really mean to title it Chicken Soul for the Soup as this post has nothing to do with the popular book Chicken Soup for the Soul.

In this post I want to talk about a chicken who has to lose its Soul so that I can cook Chicken Soup ๐Ÿ™‚

In my country, we have a very famous chicken soup named Soto Ayam.

Why Soto Ayam?

Soto Ayam is typical Indonesian Chicken Soup in a clear yellow spicy broth, widely known as a natural cure for cold and one of many soups that I grew up with.

I used to eat it with sambal kecap (a mix of kecap manis, lime juice, sliced shallots and chopped chilies), potato patties (perkedel kentang) and warm rice.

Here is the recipe of Chicken Soul for the Soup

The ingredients:

  • 1 chicken soul ๐Ÿ™‚ I use 1 whole free range organic chicken

  • 2 liters water
  • salt
  • sugar
  • cooking oil for stir frying
  • 4 Chinese celery stalks, knotted
  • 3 stalks of spring onion, separate the white and green parts
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, take the white part only and bruised

The spices

  • 6 shallots
  • 6 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 4 cm turmeric root
  • 4 cm ginger root
  • 4 cm galangal
  • 6 candle nuts (kemiri)

The content & side dish

  • vermicelli
  • fried shallots (home made or ready-made bought from supermarket)
  • 80 grams thinly sliced cabbage
  • 4 boiled eggs, remove the shells, sliced
  • fried potato chips
  • potato patties (perkedel)
  • tomato, cubed
  • chopped Chinese celery
  • Indonesian kecap manis
  • limes, sliced
  • sambal

Prepare the broth

  • Place ginger, turmeric, galangal, shallot, garlic and candle nuts in a pan.
  • Put the pan on medium heat about 10-15 minutes to elevate the aroma.
  • Peel the skin of ginger , galangal and turmeric .
  • Combine with other charred ingredients in a food processor.
  • Process them until smooth. You can always use a mortar and pestle.
  • Roughly slice white part of spring onion. Wash the green parts really well.
  • In a wok, heat up the oil.
  • Add ground spices and stir fry until fragrant.
  • Add the lemon grass, keep stirring until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a large pot, add water and bring to a boil.
  • Place in chicken, boiled egg , Chinese celery stalks, green part of spring onion, salt, sugar and stir-fried mixture.
  • Reduce the heat and place the lid on, but let a bit room for air to release from the pot.
  • Simmer until the chicken is cooked and tender.
  • Remove egg and chicken from the pot.
  • Let them to cool down.
  • Shred chicken and cut the eggs into half. Set aside.
  • Put the chicken carcass back to the broth.
  • Discard green part of spring onion, toss in sliced white parts into the stock.
  • Turn the heat to medium
  • Bring to a boil until the spring onion cooked (you can add with hot water if you feel you need more stock).
  • Remove from the heat.

To prepare the Soto Ayam

  • Soften the vermicelli by pouring hot water until soft and then drained.
  • In a bowl, place vermicelli, sliced cabbage, shredded chicken, fried potato chips and sliced boiled eggs.
  • Pour the hot stock over.
  • Place one piece of potato patties on top and sprinkle with fried shallot and sliced Chinese celery leaves.

Serve warm with sambal, lime and kecap manis (optional).

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