My friend recently told me about how he makes boiled chicken. Boiled chicken? That sounds like the worst way to consume chicken that I can think of, except for raw. As he continued to describe his chicken dish, my boiled chicken concerns started to fade as I realized that this man knows what he’s talking about. The chicken is cut into pieces, boiled (read infused) with salt and various sweet spices like cloves and cardamom (I use way more than that), chilled, rubbed with oil (or melted butter) and some ground spices and sumac, and finally finished in the oven for crispy skin. Now how is that for boiled chicken?
It turned out delicious, and guess what? The broth, made with pretty much my whole spice collection, was to die for. I often make my own chicken stock, but I’ve never added spices beyond peppercorns and maybe some fennel, with the intention of keeping it generic enough to use for whatever soup that calls for it later on. As with anything generic, there’s the potential to miss out on something specifically amazing.
After having several mugfuls of the sweet delicious broth, which I appreciated even in our crazy summer heat, I decided that the broth was destined for egg drop soup. Now you don’t need to boil a chicken to get to the broth, though I suggest you try it. The key is to add a bunch of sweet spices to your regular stock production – any kind of stock will work. You can even simmer store bought stock with spices and maybe some chopped onion and garlic, I won’t tell you cheated.
- simmering spices: cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, star anise, peppercorns
- 2L stock, preferably home made
- 1 small cooking onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
- 5 – 10 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 2 eggs, gently beaten
- salt, to taste
- sliced scallions, for garnish
- sesame oil, for garnish
- Add spices, onion, and garlic to the stock, bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer gently for about 45 minutes (or longer for more flavour).
- Add salt to taste.
- Add the sliced shiitakes and simmer for another 15 minutes until cooked through.
- Drizzle the beaten eggs from a fork. The eggs will cook immediately.
- Garnish with scallions and a few drops of sesame oil when serving.