CHICKEN SOUP WITH GINGER

  • 1 whole chicken, 3 to 3½ pounds, or 4 pounds chicken backs and wings, fat removed, washed in cold water, drained, and cut through the bones into about 12 pieces
  • ½ pound chicken feet, nails removed
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) boiling water
  • 3 cups sliced green onions, green parts only (in 2- inch lengths)
  • 6 whole peppercorns
  • 10 slices fresh ginger, the size of a quarter, smashed with the flat side of a knife, or 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • TO PREPARE
  •  In a large soup pot, bring at least 8 cups of water to a rolling boil. Drop in the chicken pieces and blanch them for 1 minute after the water returns to a boil. Drain the chicken, discarding the water, then rinse the chicken in cold water and drain again.
  •  Prep the remaining ingredients as directed in the recipe list.
  • TO COOK
  •  Heat the oven to 425°F. Bring a large kettle of water to a boil.
  • Place the chicken pieces and feet, 8 cups of boiling water, green onions, peppercorns, and either the ginger pieces or sesame oil in a Dutch oven. Seal the top with heavy-duty aluminum foil, then cover with a heavy lid.
  • Place the pot into a deep baking pan, then fill the baking pan with enough boiling water to reach about 2 inches up the side of the Dutch oven.
  • Bake for 2 to 3 hours, adding boiling water to the baking pan as necessary to keep the oven filled with steam.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the water bath, unseal it, and skim the top of the broth to remove any impurities and fat. Strain the soup through a colander, impurities and fat. Strain the soup through a colander, then through a sieve that has been lined with moistened cheesecloth. Reserve any meaty chicken pieces. Stir the salt into the broth.
  • TO SERVE
  • Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. At this point, if you are making the southern variation, you can whisk in a few more drops of sesame oil, if your new mother likes it. Then add a piece of the chicken meat and serve.
  • For the rest of the week, reheat the broth and chicken pieces in a sealed pot in a 375°F. oven for 10 to 15 minutes, or until piping hot—this will keep the broth clear

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