5-Spice Chicken & Glass Noodle Soup
Having a cold is no fun... but fortunately, cooking IS! There is nothing better for you than to make sure to get plenty of liquids, keep warm, rest and eat a good chicken soup! There really isn't!
At the same time, it is a sad state of affairs to resort to a store bought soup, out of a can filled with preservatives and colorings and emulsifiers and who knows what else! No, the important thing is to have fresh vegetables, and to make it yourself. It is neither hard work, nor is it rocket science. And sure, it is best if you have a whole chicken or at least some meat on the bone- but even if all you happen to have is some simple chicken breast, like I did today... in just 30 minutes you can make yourself a healthy meal to get you back on the road to recovery...
I really made this in the simplest way possible- after all, I am not feeling that well at the moment myself. So, to keep it easy, I boiled the chicken breast whole, for 10 minutes in just enough water to completely cover it, with about 1" worth of sliced ginger, a star anise and a clove of garlic. I did this, so that any scum (I hate that word!), that forms can be scooped off, without having the hassle of dodging the veggies!
In the meantime, I sliced carrot, celery and leeks thinly... it was all I had at home- but at the same time, those are the only essentials. You could add any other vegetables you like- say, beans, mushrooms or corn... but for me today, it was a simpler affair.
So- 10 minutes into the preparation, I fished out the chicken, cleared the broth of any scum and added the vegetables. I then cut the breast into 3-4 large pieces and banged it with a rolling pin! Yes- that's right! There is another, great Summer recipe I love, called "bang-bang chicken"... but you will have to wait a couple of months for that one! But the method is the same... it loosens the fibers of the meat so that it cooks more quickly. So back it went into the broth, along with a teaspoon of 5-spice powder, a splash of soy sauce and a little black pepper.
10 minutes after that, I added the glass noodles and reduced the heat to a low simmer... and 10 minutes later the soup was ready... steaming hot, simple yet spicy with complex tones of star anise and ginger at the same time and the wonderful 5-spice powder- delicious! Starting to feel better can begin with a wonderful but simple meal like this... go on- treat yourself! You deserve it! And get well soon!