Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Cooking with Kylie & 101 Uses for a Roasted Chicken #21: Stock & Soup

First of all, a Coyo-NoWriMo update can be seen here. So far so good with the word count, but my back is feeling it sitting in my chair all day! I'm peeking in on your blogs, by the way, but not posting as many comments.

OK, now onto Kylie...

You all know of my love for whole chickens, right? And I believe I have lamented a few times that this leads to a build-up of chicken carcasses in my freezer. I refuse to throw these things away because you can do so much with them! And because I'm cheap!

So, I decided to make another Kylie recipe with one of my carcasses, as she has a chapter in Simple Chinese Cooking on different kinds of stock. She uses whole chickens in her stock, but since I have a surplus of carcasses hanging around, I thought I'd use one of them. And then, I decided upon a soup to make once the stock was done.

So, I made Kylie's Rich Chinese Stock on page 22 of Simple Chinese Cooking. As usual with stocks, I did it in my slow cooker and it turned out great! I added some stare anise as I had some courtesy Palidor's wonderful gift, and the house was filled with such a wonderful aroma.

Rich Chinese Chicken Stock (adapted by me from Kylie Kwong's recipe)

1 chicken carcass
2L cold water
2 star anise
5 spring onions, cut in half crosswise
1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
5 large slices ginger
5 cloves garlic, whole

Stick everything in crock pot & crank it to high for about 6 hours. After that, strain out all the solids & pick the meat off the carcass, reserving the meat for soup.

Notice there are no seasonings in here, just aromatics. I wondered about this, because when I make stock I always make sure to season it & adjust the seasonings as I need to. In this case, however, the seasonings are added when the soup is made, as you will see in the upcoming recipe. I can see why holding off would be an advantage; you get a more neutral -tasting stock that can be seasoned in a variety of ways when you go to make soup, making it more versatile. This stock was good & I'd make it again.

The soup I decided to make was the Chicken Noodle Soup from page 40 of the book. It calls for Hokkien noodles. Well, good luck trying to find those around here! LOGS sells fresh Udon noodles but they are very cost-prohibitive for me. There were also some fresh chow mein noodles, but I've tried using them for soup before and they didn't work so well. Over in the Asian section of LOGS (and it's a miracle there is a small Asian section as this is an Italian grocery store) there were some rice noodles, more chow mein noodles, an a selection of different Chinese egg noodles. These were decently priced, so I went with them. This would turn out to be a big mistake.

Chicken Noodle Soup (adapted by me from Kylie Kwong's recipe on page 40 of SCC)

3 stalks bok choy, chopped
3 bunches Chinese egg noodles
3 cups rich Chinese chicken stock
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp white sugar
meat from chicken carcass, about 1 cup
1 tsp sesame oil
green onions, sliced, for garnish

In a medium pot, cook noodles according to package directions. Drain & set aside.

In a separate pot, bring stock to boil. Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, ginger, & sugar. Simmer gently for a minute or so. Add bok choy & chicken & cook about 2 minutes. Add noodles. Serve.

This soup was terrible! It's the first recipe of Kylie's I haven't liked. It was bland, for one thing; I needed to add a lot of soy sauce to the soup as I was eating it in order for it to be palatable. Also, the noodles were awful! My first clue was when I went to drain them, a terrible yellow slick of God knows what separated from the rest of the water, alarming me as I saw this all go into my sink. I don't think it was fat, though it was thick like that, and I don't think it was unnatural colouring in the noodles. But the noodles left in the pan after draining were a different colour than they were when I put them on to boil. This prompted me to take a very close look at the ingredients, which were also quite alarming! Check this out:
First of all: "lye water?" WTF is that? Second of all: MSG? Shit! I try to avoid the stuff like the plague.

I also love the third part of the instructions: "serve with meats, vegetables, or soys, if pleased."

But I wasn't pleased! These noodles, weird yellow slick and all, tasted terrible and had a heavy texture.

I am not sure what I'm going to do with the soup now. I hate throwing stuff out, but I just didn't like this at all. And I will never buy those noodles again.
Sigh...Oh well, onwards and upwards, right?


girlichef said...

Well that totally sucks! Such potential, too. The stock alone sounds really good, though...seasoned up really nice-like. Sorry it didn't work out...but YES, onward and upward :D

Donna-FFW said...

Oh that really bites the big one. So sorry you didnt like it after all that work. I bet the smell of the stock was delicious.

Bellini Valli said...

The stock sounds amazing, I hope you have some in the freezer for later use:D

Natashya KitchenPuppies said...

Oh, so sorry it didn't work out.
I do love the idea of star anise in the stock. I usually add sea salt when making stock too. But I am a bit of a salt fiend.
Good to know the writing is going well. Have you tried switching chairs every couple of hours?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I'm sorry to hear it didn't work out... I believe in using leftovers, especially roasted chicken leftovers!



monicajane said...

bummer...and it still looked good...really good in fact...

how disappointing.

Bob said...

That's rough, why the hell would you put msg in noodles?

Personally I never put seasonings in my stock, that way it can be used for many different things.

Anonymous said...

Well, the stock has a nice rich color to it.. so that was certainly a winner !.... the ingredients on the noodle packaging FREAKED ME out too...Lye water....OMG ! I always try to buy the fresh hokkien noodles...but the Kame - Wide Lo Mein works as a great dry noodle substitute ( through my personal experience) and is freely available everywhere.

In general I prefer the sauteed noodles and entrees of kylie's more than the soups so I would have to agree that they can be a bit bland in flavor...and does not accommodate our dire need for flavor... but i suppose it is more a feel good soup, something you would turn to when you have the sniffles... rather than something to comforting when you've got the munchies...if that makes any sense : ) ...

PS : Wish I would've shared my scallops with you... ~

A Year on the Grill said...

Today I am a Man... Mozeltoff

Actually, yesterday I was a cook, Bon Appetite, as I made my first stock. My kitchen still smells great!

Palidor said...

That really sucks about the soup... and the noodles! Yuck, why the heck would they need lye water and MSG? But flavoring the stock with star anise is a great idea! I think rice noodles would be wonderful in that stock.

The Chickenless Chick said...

Feel your pain re. having a freezer that won't close due to all the chicken carnage.

Too bad about the MSG :( The star anise sounds like a great addition.

Anonymous said...

I make my own stock and like this recipe. I'll have to try it. Sorry the recipe didn't work out. It sounded good on paper huh???

Coleen's Recipes said...

Oh man, what a waste of good stock!! Like my hubby says...some days you step over it and some days you step IN in.

Chris said...

I love your candor! Great post despite the results.


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