6 Chinese Chicken Stock Recipes to Enhance the Flavour of Your Food

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6 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 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.

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.

The amount of water in all the recipes are suggestions. The rule of thumb is to add sufficient water to cover the ingredients. 

Recipe 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. 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

Recipe 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 and cooking wine 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

Recipe 3. Boiling hen and Chinese ham stock

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 and cooking wine
  6. Bring to a boil
  7. Lower the heat to a slow simmer, and cook for 3 hours
  8. Remove the ingredients and strain

Recipe 4. Sesame seed oil chicken stock

This is a lovely chicken stock with the fragrance of sesame seed oil. 

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

Recipe 5. Herbal chicken stock

A soup base that is suitable for preparing food for new mothers. Because this contains Chinese angelica root 当归 (dang gui), which can thin the blood, it 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

Recipe 6: Garlic chicken stock

The method of deriving the chicken stock here is very interesting. The chef here uses an electric steaming pot called a 电锅 (dian guo) to steam the chicken. If you have something similar, you can also use it. Otherwise, use a wok or a big pot to steam the chicken.

Ingredients

  • One organic chicken
  • 1 cup of garlic
  • 1 cup of rice wine, preferably Shaoxing wine 绍兴酒 (shao xing jiu)
  • 1 cup of white clams
Method
  1. Clean the organic chicken, making sure the cavity is clean
  2. Place the garlic into the cavity
  3. Pour the rice wine into the cavity
  4. Place the entire chicken back down into a deep bowl
  5. Wash the white clams thoroughly. Place them around the chicken in the bowl
  6. Use a small knife and poke several holes in the chicken 
  7. Cover the bowl with cling wrap
  8. Bring a steaming pot to a boil, place the bowl with the chicken into it
  9. Let it steam for about 20 minutes. 
  10. Remove and drain out the steaming liquid. 
  11. Remove the meat from the chicken and use for other recipes

I hope you will try these 6 Chinese chicken stock recipes to make your Chinese dishes.

Happy Souping, Phoebe

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