Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Medicinal Chicken Soup - powerful enough to scare Ryan's cold away?

        What better way to cure a cold than a nice warming fragrant bowl of soup. Ryan has been sick for a few days now but last night was definately his worse. He got sent home early from work and when I called him at midday today I could tell from the sound of his voice that he should just be in bed resting. Working silly hours is not going to help him heal.
        To my joy it he advises me that he has taken the rest of the week off work. (I was joyous because I knew him being sick was an excuse for me to drop by after work and check up on him. He also has that power to cheer me up even when he's not 100% himself). I even offered to drop by and make him some chicken soup to which he willingly accepted.

        When talking to him earlier he said he was popping out to get some tissues and other supplies for his cold and offered to pick up what I needed for the soup. Upon calling him on the way home he tells me he didn't buy anything at all that I had asked. So luckily for him, he lives so close to Flemington shops, so I take a small detour hoping that the butchers and asian grocery were still open.
        *Phew* The butchers was still open so I grabbed a kilo of chicken wings (for the bones -  I was reluctant to ask if they had any chicken carcasses out the back) and went next door to grab some ginger. I had also picked up some dried red dates and dried yam from the asian grocers at Macquarie Centre on lunch break.

        I put some water on the boil, add some salt, a squueze of lemon and then the chicken wings. I read that adding acid to the water helps to draw the marrow out of the bones which is where all the health benefits comes from. I jointed the wings and made some slits in the meat to expose more bones before putting them in. I wanted to get as much marrow as I could from the wings.
        This was left on a medium simmer for... who knows how long, half an hour, 40 minues? I can't quite remember as I didn't really look at the time. I just let it simmer until the meat was tender and kept skimming all the gunk and fat off the surface while also prepping the other ingredients.
        It definately could have done with a fair bit more cooking time as the stock was not quite as flavoursome as I had expected it to be. Also, don't have it on too high of a heat as the more rapid it simmers/boils the less clear the stock will be. Once the meat is tender strain out the wings pull the meat off the bones.

        So apart from the chicken the other ingredients include ginger, garlic and carrot (for vitamin C). Make sure you buy the pitted dates, it just makes eating them alot easier, I was sure I picked up the seedless packet but when Ryan bit into the first date there was definately a seed in it. I didn't measure the ingredients, used my eye to gauge how much to put in.
        Once the wings were removed put in the garlic, ginger, dates and yam. Cook this on a medium low heat until the yams are soft and tender. You would want to start seasoning the soup about half way through cooking. Add the chopped carrot and chicken meat and cook until the carrot is soft and check the seasoning again.

        While I'm cooking away Ryan comes out to the kitchen and asks "What's this??". I turn around to see him with a plastic bag and say "They're some green tea mochi thingies I picked up at the grocery store". He said he didn't want anything when I called him at the shops but I was in a pecky mood and knew whatever I buy he would usually eat anyway.

        They're like little sweet dumplings made of a glutinous flour of some sorts, rice flour? Tapoica starch? I don't know, I just knew they looked interesting and that I wanted something sweetish to nibble on. They're filled with a green tea flavoured paste of some sort.

        Ryan opens the box and rips the packet open (really he does). "Mmmm interesting" he says. I try one later on and think that it is indeed very intersting, in a nice way of course. The sticky chewy exterior, the smooth not very sweet filling. It was nice, there were also other flavours on the shelf such as red bean, might have to give them a go too.

        So the soup is finally done after an hour and a half slaving in the kitchen. The smells wafting up from the pot, boy it was strong but you could just tell that there was some health benefit to this concoction. I scoop up a small bowl and take it to Ryan to try. "It's definately strong on flavour" he says. "What, as in too salty or all the different flavours?" I ask, "It's all the different flavours" he replies "but it's suprisingly really really good". 
        When I showed him all my ingredients he was slightly apprehensive about the whole combination. "What do dried dates and yams do?" says he, "They're dried chinese things so they're bound to be beneficial. Just eat it and know it's good for you, and I googled this stuff already" I tell him.
        Ryan's mum tries some of the soup when she comes home. When I go to say goodbye to her she asks if Ryan made the soup to which he replies that I made it for him. "That's very nice of you" she says. "Did you try it?" I ask her, to which she replies "Of course, it's really good. It's my kind of soup, my kind of ingredients and very simple".
        I only made a small batch and have a feeling that when it's gone I might be asked to make it again. At least future mother in law likes it ;). Hehe. So do you have any remedies for colds?


Maria said...

I love omochi! Yum :) And I bet that soup was delicious in this cold weather! I your boy is feeling better soon!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Ahh to get the MIL approval, very well done indeed! ;)

Von said...

Wow- an hour and half in the kitchen for the soup! =] It must have tasted really good! I've never made soup but my mum usually buys the spices in the packets which say what health problems they're good for....tehehe =]

Amy @ said...

your soup looks like it could cure anything. and i love those japanese dumplings. i grinned like an idiot when i ate them in kyoto.

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hi Maria: Thanks, he's definately feeling alot better and almost back to 100% now =)

Hi Lorraine: Hehe oh it's tough gettting future MIL approval but I feel all good inside when it does happen hehe =D

Hi Von: Haha yeah, an hour and a half in the kitchen just watching a pot of soup. I saw all those different packets but they didn't really say what they were for (can't read Chinese!) so I thought I would play it safe and make up my own combination.

Hi Amy: Hehe yeah, I think Ryan's mum ended up eating most of the soup though, ahh well, at least they both liked it and were able to eat it.

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Nice soup and mochi!!! Glad your MIL likes it.

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hi Ellie: Thanks! Hehe I call her FUTURE MIL here on the blog but I think she would kill me if I called her that for real, not until it's official hehe.