- 1 quart chicken stock, recipe follows
- 1 stalk lemon grass, white part only, cracked open with the flat side of a knife
- 3 kaffir lime leaves, fresh or dried, hand torn
- 1 (3-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 small Thai chilies, halved lengthwise
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 (13-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 (8-ounce) can straw mushrooms, rinsed
- 4 limes, juiced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat in a soup pot. Add the lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, ginger, chilies, and garlic. Lower the heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices infuse the broth.
Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, fish sauce, sugar, mushrooms, lime juice, and chicken. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat the chicken through; season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into a soup tureen or individual serving bowls. Garnish with cilantro. Be careful to avoid chewing the lemongrass, ginger, or lime leaves.
- 1 whole free-range chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
- 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
- 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
- 2 large white onions, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 1 turnip, halved
- 1/4 bunch fresh thyme leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.
Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.
Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 2 quarts stock