My Cooking Journal 22 - Herbal Chicken Slow Cook Soup
Oh my God! My "part-time lover" (laptop) really give me lots of problem lately, kind of frustrating coz I have difficulty browsing internet and my lover just “hang” himself whenever he likes it.
Oh no! I gonna need some Chicken herbals soup to strengthen and tonify my brain and body. To me, its kind of painful and irritable when comes to tackle computer problem. My hubby had helped me to reformat the entire system but problems still occur inevitably.
Talking about Chinese Chicken herbals soup, it is one of the best soups that will help those with weak body constitution to strengthen and tonify their body system. Of course it must be used with right proportion of herbs and ingredients. Otherwise, overdosing or under dosing of the herbs will not benefit your health and the former will cause harm to you. It is also crucial on the type of pots that you use to brew the soup. Claypots or ceramic pots are best for brewing soups. Stainless steel pot can be used but not on metal or aluminium pots. Some herbs might react with the metal pot therefore; reduce the effectiveness of the herbs and your effort will be wasted.
The dry ingredients that I used can be easily obtained from any Chinese Medical hall and some common one like red dates, dry mushroom, wolfberries can be easily purchased at any supermarket.Here are some basic introductions of the ingredients/herbs that are used for my Chicken Soup:
Chicken meats are rich in proteins, fats, Vitamin A, B, C and D. However, it is important to remove any excess skin before cooking to reduce the fats and cholesterol contents will give you a clear and less oily soup base. It is preferably to use kampong chicken as it is less fatty and using whole chicken will also retain its rich flavour and moisture at tip top quality.
Dry Scallops(乾瑤柱):contains vitamin B12, Magnesium, Selenium, Protein, Fat, Calories. It is often use to add flavour and sweetness to the soup and is good for improving your immunity.
Dry Chinese Mushrooms (Shiitake): High in protein, low in fat, Vitamin B2, help to treat cold, flu, stimulate immune system, fight against infection and suppress cancer cells spreading. It is also good for adding flavour to your soup.
Dry Huai Shan(淮山) also known as Chinese Wild Yam or Shan Yao (山药): Has neutral property.It helps to nourish the spleen and stomach and strengthen the kidneys and lung. It has the ability to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, promote fluid secretion and clear urine protein, stops diarrhea, cure cough and reduce phlegm and thirst and can be used to strengthen those with weak body constitution.
Dry Yu Zhu(玉竹): With cooling effect that helps to tonify yin, boost internal fluids level, balance heatiness, contains Vitamin A which is good for skin as it helps to moisten skin dryness, ability to nourish your dry lung and strengthen your stomach, relieve dry cough, dry throat and thirst. But people who have loose stools, spleen deficiency, stomach deficiency, phlegm stagnation is not suitable and is best to consult your physician before consume.
American Ginseng (西洋参) : It tastes bitter and has cooling effect that is capable to promote production of body fluids, reduce heat in the body, moisten the lung and boost the body’s collagen levels. It also can reduce dry and thirsty mouth and throat, boost energy (reduce fatigue) and boost immune system, relieve menopause symptom for woman, regulates blood sugar level and effective for treating diabetes, calm the brain, boost the heart. It helps to harmonize your entire body system and maintain healthy function of spleen, stomach, heart, brain and nervous system. Avoid taking carrot, radish and tea if you are taking American Ginseng. This will reduce the effectiveness of the herb.
Chinese Almonds(杏仁): They are two types often known as Southern (南杏)and Northern (北杏)Chinese almonds.The former is larger in size and sweeter whereas the latter is more aromatic and bitter.Northern is more beneficial than southern and is often used in soup to smooth inflammation in lungs, treat cough, calm wheezing, moisten intestines and unblocks bowels. It is effective for clearing the airways in lung and smooth breathing.
Red dates(红枣): It is rich in Vitamin A, B2, C and E, minerals such as phosphorus, calcium and iron. It helps to reinforce the blood-building function of heart, strengthen body immune system and is often use as a sweetener in the soup.
Wolfberries(枸杞子) : It contains essential amino acids, vitamin C and B2, iron, potassium, zinc, selenium, phosphorous, calcium and germanium and also with small amount of vitamin E, dietary fiber and proteins. Is good for curing giddiness, cough, thirst and reduce heat in the body. It can tonify your kidney and liver, nourish your lung and improve vision. With the sweet taste, it is often use as a sweetener in the soup.
1 Kampong Chicken (whole)
4 pieces Medium Dry Scallop
3 pieces Dry Mushroom
4 slices Dry Huai Shan
20g Dry Yu Zhu
2 slices Ginger
2 tablespoon American Ginseng
1 tablespoon Wolfberries
6 pieces Red Dates
1.6 litres of water
Remove the stem of dry mushroom. Rinse and pre-soak in a bowl. Set aside.
Prepare boiling water (1.6 litres) and pour in the slow cooker pot and set to high heat.
Lightly rinse all the herbs (Yu Zhu, Huai Shan, Hong Zao, Dry Scallop) and pour into the slow cooker pot. Let it simmer.
Wash the chicken thoroughly; remove the unnecessary internal organs, excess skin and fats, then cut the feet separately.
Prepare a pot of boiling water (enough to immerse the whole chicken in the water), blanch the chicken in the boiling water, rinse and set aside.
Add in chicken, ginger and soaked mushroom, simmer for 1/2 hour over high heat and turn the cooker to auto heat and cook for 3 hours.
Let the soup cook for 1.5 hours, then rinse the wolfberries and Chinese almonds and add into the soup.
Lastly, lightly rinse the ginseng and add into the soup at the very last 45 minutes.