Use these 5 Chinese Chicken Stock Recipes to Enhance the Flavour of Your Food

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Here are a couple of Chinese chicken stock recipes to help you make a mean pot of basic chicken stock. Use them to enhance the flavor of all your dishes, not just soups.

Some visitors ask me why Chinese soups they cook are tasteless. Frequently, I discover that they use water instead of a soup stock. Here are a couple of Chinese chicken stock recipes to help you make a mean pot of basic chicken broth. Use them to enhance the flavor of all your dishes, not just soups.

You can make stock from whole chicken or from chicken carcass or scraps collected from your other food preparation. For example, instead of buying pre-cut chicken parts from the supermarkets, buy the whole bird. Separate the parts you need and freeze the rest for making stock. Also, some markets sell chicken carcass at great discounts. Look out for them when you go grocery shopping next.

Chicken carcasses. Photo by becky berry

Making stock can take a while so it makes sense to make a big batch and freeze for future use. Learn how to pack and freeze excess soup stock.

1. Boiling hen and ginger stock

Boiling hens or stewing hens are basically chickens that are bred to lay eggs rather than for providing meat. I think the primary reason for that is that their meat is quite tough. In Chinese cuisine, there is an equivalent called the 老母鸡 (lao mu ji), literally translated as mature or old hen. The Chinese likes to use old hens for making soup stocks. Apparently the flavour of the stock will be deeper.

The broth produced is clear and light. The amount of ginger used is judicious so there is no worry that it is overpowering.

Ingredients

  • 2 kg chicken carcass
  • 1/2 boiling hen
  • 1 section of ginger
  • 10 litres of water

Directions

  1. Wash the chicken carcass and boiling hen
  2. Parboil the carcass and boiling hen. Rinse
  3. Place the chicken carcass and hen at the bottom of a big pot, with the ginger
  4. Add water until all the ingredients are covered
  5. Bring the water up to a roaring boil
  6. Lower the heat and slowly simmer for 4 hours
  7. Remove the ingredients and strain the soup stock

2. Chicken carcass and old ginger stock

This broth uses only the carcasses. It assumed that they are accumulated leftovers. The use of old ginger is to help get rid of any strong gameness.

Ingredients

  • 600g chicken carcass
  • 200g old ginger
  • 20ml cooking wine
  • 1 litres water

Directions

  1. Wash and parboil the chicken carcass
  2. Trim off any excess fats
  3. Add all ingredients into a stock pot
  4. Bring to a boil and simmer for 2 hours
  5. Remove the ingredients and strain the soup stock

3. Boiling hen and Chinese ham stock

Chinese ham in the store. Does it look like a tennis racket? Photo by Phoebe

Chinese ham is a Cantonese cured meat, a bit like Italian pancetta. It is almost always used as a flavor enhancer in soups or other dishes. This stock will have a darker colour and a richer flavor than the first recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 boiling hen
  • 50g Chinese ham (金华火腿 jin hua huo tui)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 head ginger
  • 2 stalks spring onion
  • 1/2 cup cooking wine
  • 8 litres water

Directions

  1. Wash and parboil the boiling hen
  2. Trim off any excess fats
  3. Peel and wash the onion and ginger. Wash the spring onion
  4. Place the chicken and vegetables in a big pot
  5. Add the water
  6. Bring the water to a boil
  7. Lower the heat to a slow simmer, and cook for 3 hours
  8. Remove the ingredients and strain

4. Sesame seed oil chicken stock

This is a lovely chicken stock with the fragrance of sesame seed oil. This is an ideal soup base to prepare nourishing soups for new mothers.

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken carcass
  • 1/2 boiling hen
  • 30ml sesame seed oil
  • 200g old ginger, julienned
  • 50ml cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2.5 litres water

Directions

  1. Wash and parboil the chicken carcass & boiling hen
  2. Trim off any excess fats
  3. Heat the sesame oil in a stock pot and fry the julienned ginger
  4. Add the water and the rest of the ingredients
  5. Bring to a boil and simmer for 3 hours
  6. Remove the ingredients and strain

5. Herbal chicken stock

A soup base that is suitable for preparing food for new mothers. Because this contains danggui, which can thin the blood, this is not suitable for pregnant women.

Ingredients

  • 1kg chicken carcass
  • 1/2 boiling hen
  • 20g dried goji berries
  • 10g Chinese angelica root or dang gui
  • 100ml cooking wine
  • 2 litres water

Directions

  1. Wash and parboil the chicken carcass and boiling hen
  2. Place chicken in a stock pot, add water and simmer for 2 hours
  3. Add the goji berries and dang gui and simmer for another 30 minutes
  4. Add the cooking wine, and simmer on medium heat for another 5 minutes
  5. Remove the ingredients and strain

This article offers a range of Chinese chicken stock recipes that can be used to make a wide range of soups and Chinese dishes. I hope you try them out. 

Happy Souping, Phoebe