My inspiration for cooking can come from a variety of things. Sometimes I get inspired by having a dish from a restaurant that I’ve never had before and try to replicate it at home. Sometimes inspiration comes from recipes I may see on television. I mostly get inspired by the certain items I see in the grocery store or farmer's market.
Sometimes I fail at the outcome of what I’m making and sometimes I succeed. I just like to try new things and expand my horizons when it comes to testing new ingredients or cooking methods. James, my husband is a great guinea pig. He will generally eat whatever I make and is honest about how the food tastes. Unlike James, I myself am much more critical about how my food turns out.
1 Whole chicken, 2-3 lbs.
1/2 Head of cauliflower
2 Lemongrass stalks
5-7 Kafir lime leaves
4 Cloves of fresh garlic
2-2” Chunks of fresh ginger
1-2” Chunk of galanga (blue ginger)
3-4 Quarts of tap water
4 T. Salt
1/4 c. Fish sauce
Cilantro and scallions for garnish.
COOK TIME: 2.5 hours
Add room temperature tap water to a large pot. Turn on heat to high.
Cut chicken in half, right down the breast and through the spine. Carve out the small drums and wing in one whole piece on each side of the chicken. Carve out the drum sticks and then separate the thigh from the breasts. Add the cut up chicken to the pot.
Add the rest of the ingredients except for the fish sauce and cauliflower to the pot.
Bring the pot to a boil and allow the chicken breast to cook all the way through, about an hour to an hour and a half.
While the pot is boiling, impurities from the bones will surface to the top, simply skim the top and remove the impurities and discard.
Once the breasts are finished cooking, remove them and the thighs from the soup and set aside.
Once you’ve removed the large pieces of chicken to cool, wash and cut into bite size pieces, half a head of cauliflower.
Keep the heat on but lower it to medium high to medium heat.
Add the cauliflower and the fish sauce and stir until fish sauce is well combined.
Taste and add more fish sauce for desired saltiness for the soup.
Allow the chicken to cool for at least 30 minutes, so you can easily handle it with your hands and a knife.
Once the chicken is cooled, cut the meat off the bones and add it back to the pot. You can either add or discard the skin.
Turn heat off of the pot.
Take a ladle and skim the fat off the top of the soup and discard. Ladle out the gingers, lemongrass and lime leaves and discard.
Ladle into a bowl and enjoy! You can add hot sauce or cilantro and green onion to pump up the flavor.
SERVING SIZE: 6
(Stiff is an amateur home cook and food blogger. Stiff can be found at a grocery store, Instagram @stifferoni and Tumblr: http://stiffers.tumblr.com/.)
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