David Chang's Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup
I have this new love affair with chicken noodle soup. But likely not the kind of soup you grew up having as a kid.
This is a full on chicken soup for the soul kind of a situation.
In addition, I also have a new love affair (ok, more like an obsession) with food shows and documentaries. Had it not been for Netflix, I probably would still be watching the Food Network on cable TV. Watching these has elevated my obsession with food, cooking and travel to a Whole. New. Level.
I stumbled upon David Chang a while ago, when he opened his first (of now many) Momofuku restaurants. His notoriety and fame grew big time over the past several years and his presence is everywhere as he continues to push the boundaries in the culinary world (he created and hosted PBS's The Mind of a Chef (along with narrator Anthony Bourdain).
It was in an episode of Mind of a Chef where David made his homemade Chinese chicken noodle soup. I have NEVER made this soup from scratch before seeing this, but I always wanted to and thought it was far too labour intense. What I was surprised by was how EASY it is to make, but I loved his spin on the Chinese version. Chang is an American-born Korean, and he has an obsession for ramen and having mastered how to make this popular Japanese dish. I already love cooking a roasted chicken either in the oven loaded with herbs and citrus or on the BBQ using a rotisserie and seasoning because I think its one of the most versatile foods you can make. The options for leftovers are endless!
So, once I saw David make the soup, I had to take a stab at it. I've made this twice now and each time it gets better and better, so naturally I wanted to share it. I rarely get to enjoy two bowls of this when I do make it because Nathan seems to make it disappear before I can get my hands on it!
Of course, this isn't a traditional recipe below because I really do add the ingredients ad hoc, tasting for flavour along the way and adjusting as need be. In my mind, the secret to making this soup amazing is that you boil the chicken and the veggies separately. This and you need to use fresh linguini noodles. Trust me, this is the bomb.
David Chang's Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup
1 whole roaster chicken, cut up by part (yes, you can be sloppy here) and use The. Whole. Thing. Bones & everything.
Enough water to cover the bird parts (approx 8-10 cups)
1 - 2 onions
1 - 2 green onion (scallion)
1 - 2 shallots
4 - 5 cloves garlic
1 - 2 carrots
1 pc star anise
1 - 3 bay leaves
Combine the chicken parts, lots of water and salt in a large pot and boil. Boil until the chicken is cooked through but not falling off the bone. Remove the chicken, set aside and THEN you can boil the s**t out of the broth (David's words, not mine), approx. 1-2 hours. Longer if you want, which means more flavour.
In a separate pot, do the same with all the veggies, pepper, salt, star anise, coriander, bay leaves and boil.
Once they are both done, strain the veggie pot and keep the liquid only - dispose of the veggies. Tear the chicken off the bone once cooled (keeping only the dark and white meat as desired...no skin or bone). Take all the chicken you're keeping for the soup and toss in a bowl with sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Use as much or as little as you need, depending on the flavour you want, but I am fairly liberal because it tastes so yummy.
Combine both broths into a big pot, dump the chicken in and cook on medium heat for about 10 min. Add the noodles close to when you are ready to serve the soup. Cook until noodles are al dente. You're done!
Now that I've shown you how to make some kick ass chicken noodle soup, here is a list of (some) of my fave culinary movies & TV shows I wanted to share with you. You DON'T have to be a foodie or cook to enjoy them. I personally find it more educational and mesmerizing how chefs cook, create, research, travel, indulge, socialize with food all for the love of food.
Mind of a Chef
Jiro Dreams of Sushi
Somm (this isn't a food movie per se, but I associate wine with food and this is an intense one!)
El Bulli: Cooking in Progress
Sushi: The Global Catch
Noma: My Perfect Storm