This article presents 3 black chicken soup recipes that are gentle tonics.
Black chickens are also known as silky chicken or silkies. In some parts of the world, they are pets. In my part of the world, they are considered food.
The silky chicken is fairly small compared to a normal chicken. It does not necessarily have black feathers. In fact, its plummage is more furry than feathers and many have snowy white plummage. It is called black chicken because its beak, bones, flesh, skin and even internal organs are black or dark blue in colour. It doesn't look very appealing because of the dark colour and the meat is fairly dry (in my opinion) but it is valued for its curative effects.
I remember seeing a cooking show where a chef tried to prepare a silkie by confitting it. Might be a good idea.
Modern scientific research has discovered that the silky chicken's level of protein, vitamin B, 18 amino acids and minerals are much higher than normal chicken while cholesterol and saturated fats are much lower.
1. Light nourishing tonic for ladies
Substitute with a small fresh chicken if you can't find or do not like the silky.
1 black chicken
8 red dates
1 tsp goji berries
Salt to taste
Wash the little black bird and cut into smaller pieces
Parboil the chicken in water for 2 minutes and trim away any excess or visible fats. Parboil means to boil the chicken in a pot of water for about 10 minutes
Place the chicken, dried goji berries and red dates into a slow cooker
Boil the water and pour into the slow cooker
Using the low setting, gently simmer the ingredients for 25 minutes
Add a pinch of salt to the soup before serving
Black chicken is almost always prepared in tonics or herbal soups together with Chinese herbs to alleviate certain ailments such as fatigue, osteoporosis, iron deficient anaemia and hair loss.
Check out this herbal hair tonic where the chicken is steamed with he shou wu, ginseng, red dates and ginger and this double-boiled soup with goji berries and Chinese yam.
2. Hair tonic with he shou wu and ginseng root
This black chicken soup is steamed and is a common soup tonic for both men and women concerned about white hair or thinning hair.
He shou wu is a Chinese herb blackish in color. It should be fairly easy to find in Chinese medicinal halls. They are reputed to keep hair black. Many ladies like to prepare hair soup tonics for their husbands and themselves using he shou wu. The colour of the soup will be quite dark because of this herb.
Ginseng is an all-round tonic. It is popular because almost everyone from a child to an old folk can take it. Whole ginsengs are very expensive. Buy ginseng root as a cheaper alternative. They are just as good, just not as visually impressive. Another good alternative is to use ginseng tea bags. I think these are more readily available and cheaper too.
1 black chicken
5g ginseng root or 1 ginseng tea bag
3g he shou wu
10 red dates
2 pieces of old ginger
2 tbsp garlic
2 tsp salt
5 tbsp sesame seed oil
Wash and clean the chicken
Peel the ginger and garlic
Gently rinse the ginseng root or tea bag, he shou wu, red dates, ginger and garlic
Place the black chicken in a big tureen or bowl and add the Chinese herbs
Add enough room temperature water to cover the ingredients
Seal the tureen or bowl with cling wrap
Place a steaming tripod into a big pot or wok
Add water to the big pot until 3/4 of the tripod is submerged
Bring the pot of water to a boil
Place the tureen onto the tripod. Be careful of the boiling water
Lower to a medium heat and steam the soup for about 2 hours
Remove from heat and add the seasonings before serving
3. Black chicken soup with goji and Chinese yam
This black chicken soup with goji berries and Chinese yam is doubled boiled using a ceramic double boiling jar.
If you do not have one, you can use a ceramic tureen with a cover and steam it in a large stock pot or wok. Bring the water in the pot to a boil and lower the heat and simmer.
A classic gentle tonic and so easy to make. This soup should be only enough for 1 or 2 persons.
1/4 black chicken
5g chinese yam
1 tbsp goji berries
6 red dates
1 piece of old ginger
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp rice wine
Directions (for double boiling jar and 1 big wok)
Wash and clean the bird
Place the bird, Chinese yam, goji berries, red dates, ginger and rice wine into a ceramic double boiling jar
Add in enough room temperature water to cover the ingredients inside
Cover the jar and seal with cling wrap
Place in a big pot half submerged in water
Bring the pot to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 1.5 hours