Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pesang Manok (Boiled Chicken Soup)

Had a couple of inches of ginger and some softening celery to use up, so I figured I'd order a cabbage and some chicken thighs and make some boiled chicken soup, Filipino-style. Now, I've almost eaten all the soup, but I still have more cabbage than I know what to do with - this monster weighed over seven pounds! (See what can happen when you order produce, sight unseen, from Peapod?) This can result in a dish that's fairly bland on its own, but comforting and delicious when served with a dish of fish sauce on the side. Took Market Manila's suggestion and browned the chicken first, which helped deepen the broth a wee bit.
  • 1 tbsp. or so peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2"-3" in. ginger root, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 lbs. chicken (I used thighs)
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns (next time, I'll use more)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into 3-4" lengths (used more as I had a bag to get rid of)
  • 1 small cabbage, roughly chopped (about 1/4 of that monstrous head)
In a pot large enough to hold all the soup ingredients, saute the ginger and onion till they release their aromas, about 1-3 mins.

Add the chicken. Brown slightly on both sides, about 3-5 minutes/side.

Add the water, peppercorns and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and cook till chicken's almost tender, 20 or so mins.

Add the celery, wait a few minutes, then add the cabbage. Cook till the veggies are tender - another 5-10 minutes.

Serve over white rice with patis and sriracha on the side.

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