Saturday, December 31, 2011

Korean Chicken Soup (영계백숙)

Cornish game hen works best. It is tender and has less fat. If you can buy organic, fresh, unfrozen ones that’s the best. If cornish hens are not available you can also buy small, young chicken. Best way to thaw is to leave in the refrigerator overnight or 10 hrs. If you have less time, you can also put the chicken(still wrapped) in cold water to thaw for 3-4 hrs. If you are really short on time, you can also thaw the chicken in the microwave but it’s really not recommended.
Cut off the wing tips, neck and the tail end. My mom told me that the wing tips and the tail end are bad for you so why eat it since there’s not much to eat there anyway. If the chicken has any giblets inside the stomach, discard it. There may be quite a bit of fat near the breast area or near the bottom, trim the fat as much as you can. Wash the chicken well under running water and pat it dry.
Prepare the garlic – if you have a whole bulb, soak it in water and peel them.
Peel the onion and leave it whole.
Simmer at medium low or low heat for 35 min for smaller chicken (less than 2 lb) and 40 min for chicken larger than 2 lbs.  Check if chicken is fully cooked by piercing the area between the thigh and the belly to see if any blood comes out. Cook a few minutes longer if you see any redness.
Take the chicken out onto a plate and let it cool a couple minutes. Chop up the green onions into small pieces (1/3 in).  Serve the soup, rice, pieces of the chicken and green onions in a bowl. Serve with salt and pepper so it can be seasoned at the table. Also make some vinegar-soy sauce for dipping the chicken meat if people want to eat the meat alone without the soup. You can also serve chicken with salt and pepper and people can dip the chicken pieces in salt/pepper mix instead of the soy sauce dip. Finally serve some kimchi and dried roasted seaweed and you have a complete, delicious and healthy dinner!!

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