Soto ayam (chicken soup)

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient
1 \N Chicken, 3-3 1/2 lbs.
1 tablespoon Salad oil
4 \N Garlic clove; smashed and pe
1 \N Onion; coarsley chopped
2 tablespoons Ginger, fresh; chopped
1 \N Lemon grass stalk
¼ cup Lemon grass; sliced
\N \N Lemon zest
1 \N Galangal slice; dry
\N \N --- per Larry Haftl
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Coriander, ground
2 teaspoons Sugar
¼ teaspoon Pepper
28 ounces Chicken broth
4 cups ;Water
1½ tablespoon Lemon juice
\N \N Condiments (noted in directi

Remove chicken giblets, set aside. Pull off and discard lumps of fat from chicken. Cut off wings and leg-and-thigh pieces. Separate back from breast.

Pour oil into 6 quart kettle and place over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, and ginger and cook, stirring until onion is soft. Add lemon grass, galangal, tumeric, salt, coriander, sugar, pepper, broth, and water. Stir then add chicken and giblets (except liver). Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until breast is no longer pink when slashed (15-20 minutes).

Remove breast and let cool. Simmer remaining chicken until meat near thighbone is no longer pink when slashed (15 minutes more). Lift out legs and thighs, let cool. Continue to simmer broth. Discard skin from breast, legs and thighs. Cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Cover and set aside.

Return bones to broth, continue simmering until broth is richly flavored (about 1 more hour). Strain, discard wings, back, bones, giblets, and seasonings. (At this point you may cover and refrigerate chicken and broth until next day. Bring chicken to room temperature before serving.)

Prepare condiments and crisp-fried onions. Place condiments, onions and chicken in seperate bowls. Skim and discard fat from broth. Heat broth until steaming and stir in lemon juice. Ladle broth into serving bowls. Let diners add chicken, condiments and crisp-fried onions.

CONDIMENTS: Offer at least two of the following: 2 ounces bean threads, cut into 6-inch lengths (soak in warm water to cover for 30 minutes before cutting), or 1½ cups cooked rice; 1 ½ cups bean sprouts mixed with ¼ cup chopped celery leaves; Spiced Coconut; and Chili Paste.

Crisp-fried onions: Cut 2 medium onions in half lengthwise. Cut each half crosswise into even slices about ⅛ inch thick; then cut slices into halves or thirds to make smaller arcs. Into a deep heavy pan pour salad oil to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 300 F. Add about a third of the onions and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned (4-5 minutes). Oil temperature will drop at first, but rise again as the onions brown; regulate heat to maintain 300 F. Remove onions with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining onions. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 1 ½ cups.

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