I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday!
Quick post today, we’re heading down to Nashville to ring in the New Year and I’m ridiculously excited to actually be going somewhere for vacation. As part of cutting our budget back to save more for a house, trips were definitely cut from our list of things we could do. So being able to go to Nashville is definitely a special occasion. I’m not sure how we’re going to eat lol, but at least we’ll be getting out of town for a bit. In preparation, I even went to the grocery store today to pick up some turkey from the deli to pack for our lunch on the road tomorrow.
So a few weeks ago my husband started grumbling i.e. whining about how bad he felt and stayed home from work (I think he was faking it :P). Actually I was originally going to call this, ‘I’m So Sick Asian Chicken Noodle Soup’ in honor of him, but shortened it for the blog. On my way home from work, I stopped by our local store to pick up a package of bone-in chicken thighs in order to make soup. My mom doesn’t cook much, but I do remember when I was younger that if she or I got sick, she would occasionally make chicken and rice soup.
Of course I can’t leave well enough alone, and I wanted to veggie it up. so for this soup I did a mix of arroz caldo with sotanghon plus whatever else my little heart desired, i.e. whatever was in the pantry and fridge.
Since my husband was complaining he was all stuffed up, I threw in a bit of Szechuan peppercorns and crushed red chile flakes for a bit of warming heat and of course used a large amount of ginger for its immunity boosting kick. I usually make 4 serving recipes, but this soup was just crying out for a full 8 servings. We portioned out the leftovers into freezable mason jars so it’ll be super convenient the next time one of us is feeling a bit under the weather.
After sitting down to eat my husband’s surprised comment was, “Why does this make me feel so much better?”. Bow down to the power of the chicken soup!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 – 1 ¼ lb skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
- 1 ½ tsp dried red chili flakes
- 1 tsp Szechuan pepper, freshly ground
- ½ tsp annatto seeds, freshly ground
- 1 large head of bok choy, about 1 lb
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 10 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 Tbsp fresh minced ginger
- 8 cups of chicken stock (2 - 32 oz boxes)
- 3 cups of water
- 8 dried shiitake mushrooms
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 cup of shredded carrots
- 4 oz. mung bean cellophane noodles
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Cilantro, garnish (optional)
- Green onions, sliced, garnish (optional)
- Separate leaves and stems of bok choy. Tear the bok choy leaves into small pieces, rinse well and set aside in the fridge. Slice stems in half length-wise, then thinly slice and combine in a bowl with the chopped onions. Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the Szechuan peppercorns and annatto seeds until finely ground.
- In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat, add in chicken thighs skin side down and cook until well browned and fat has rendered from thighs. Remove chicken thighs to a plate and remove and discard skin.
- In same Dutch oven, add in an additional 2 tsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté dried red chili flakes, ground Szechuan peppercorns and ground annatto seeds in oil for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add in onion and bok choy stems and sauté for 3 – 4 minute or until softened. Add in garlic and ginger and cook another minute, stirring frequently. Add chicken thighs back to pot and pour in chicken stock through lime juice (chicken stock, water, dried shiitakes, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice) and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and simmer 40 minutes.
- Remove chicken thighs from pot and allow to cool enough to handle, then shred. Remove shiitakes from pot and cut off stems then thinly slice (I love using kitchen scissor for this). Stir chicken, shiitakes, shredded carrots, reserved bok choy leaves and cellophane noodles back into pot, mixing well. Taste soup and add black pepper to taste. Simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until flavors have fully combined.
- If desired, garnish with sliced green onions or cilantro.