My household has had a lingering cold for quite sometime. First the babies got sick and now me. Somehow, G managed to save himself from this lengthy battle with a cough and congestion (thank goodness, it would be horrible having everyone sick). To fight this cold in one of my favourite ways, with food, I made a couple of different versions of chicken noodle soup. This one was my favourite.
This soup is time consuming, but it’s mostly hands off. The soup sits for 90 minutes on the stove as you do make your own broth. It’s worth it here. The miso and dashi together really push this dish into a warm and savoury place. It’s reminiscent of traditional chicken noodle soup enough to bring that feeling of comfort we all love, but the Japanese influence is a enough to for you to feel like this new and fresh. The crispy chicken skin brings crunch. I added the asparagus to round out the dish and make it completely a meal. It’s a perfect rainy Sunday dish when you have a bit of time to get into it and most importantly, time to savour it.
Adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, Issue 75
1 3.5 lb (1.6 kg) chicken, (ask your butcher to remove the skin for you, it wasn’t a pleasant task), rinsed and patted dry, keeping skin and meat separate
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500 g chicken wings
1 leek, trimmed and sliced
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 x 2″ (5 cm) piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
2.5 litters of water
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp dashi powder*
1/4 cup miso paste (I used white miso, but any will do)
1/2 cup (15 g) dried shiitake mushrooms**
1 pkg dried soba noodles (I used kumquat soba noodles)
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and halved
Using kitchen scissors or poultry scissors, cut the chicken in half (along the breastbone). If the skin is still on the chicken, carefully remove the skin without losing too much meat.
Heat the oil a large sauce pan over high heat. Add the chicken wings, leek, garlic, and ginger and cook, stirring, for 4-6 minutes or until golden. Add the halved chicken, water, soy sauce, dashi, miso paste, and dried mushrooms and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1.5 hours. Strain, reserving the halved chicken and stock.
While the soup is cooking, place the chicken skin in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Cook for 6 minutes each side or until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towel and sprinkle with salt. Cut into thin slices. Set aside.
Bring 2″ of water to a boil in a medium pot with a tight fitting lid over high heat. Add asparagus to boiling water and steam for 3-4 minutes until asparagus is crisp tender. Drain and set asparagus aside.
Shred the chicken, discarding all bones. Return stock to a clean pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the fresh mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and noodles and cook until noodles are tender and chicken is warm (approx. 8 minutes).
Divide soup between bowls and top with crispy chicken skin pieces and asparagus pieces.
* Dashi powder can be found at any Asian supermarket. I found mine at a tiny store at South China Seas Trading Company, in the Granville Island Market. My only recommendation to make sure your dash powder is MSG free. I saw multiple that still had MSG in them.
** Dried shiitake mushrooms can be found in the Asian section of supermarkets or any Asian market.