3 Black Chicken Soup Recipes. Gentle Tonics for the Whole Family 乌骨鸡汤

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3 black chicken soup recipes. Gentle tonics for the whole family .

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.

Recipe 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
  • 500ml water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash the little black bird and cut into smaller pieces
  2. 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
  3. Place the chicken, dried goji berries and red dates into a slow cooker
  4. Boil the water and pour into the slow cooker
  5. Using the low setting, gently simmer the ingredients for 25 minutes
  6. 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 何首乌 (he shou wu), ginseng, red dates and ginger and this double-boiled soup with goji berries and Chinese yam. 

Recipe 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 何首乌
  • 10 red dates
  • 2 pieces of old ginger
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp sesame seed oil


  1. Wash and clean the chicken
  2. Peel the ginger and garlic
  3. Gently rinse the ginseng root or tea bag, he shou wu, red dates, ginger and garlic
  4. Place the black chicken in a big tureen or bowl and add the Chinese herbs
  5. Add enough room temperature water to cover the ingredients
  6. Seal the tureen or bowl with cling wrap
  7. Place a steaming tripod into a big pot or wok
  8. Add water to the big pot until 3/4 of the tripod is submerged
  9. Bring the pot of water to a boil
  10. Place the tureen onto the tripod. Be careful of the boiling water
  11. Lower to a medium heat and steam the soup for about 2 hours
  12. Remove from heat and add the seasonings before serving

Recipe 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)

  1. Wash and clean the bird
  2. Place the bird, Chinese yam, goji berries, red dates, ginger and rice wine into a ceramic double boiling jar
  3. Add in enough room temperature water to cover the ingredients inside
  4. Cover the jar and seal with cling wrap
  5. Place in a big pot half submerged in water
  6. Bring the pot to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 1.5 hours
  7. Remove and add salt before serving

The ingredients in this video tutorial is not the same as mine but the method/instruction is similar. Have a look and see how simple it is to make. 

Happy Souping, Phoebe

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