Friday, July 20, 2007

Homemade Pure Essence of Chicken

As kids I remember my mother brewing this for us whenever we were studying for our exams. Nowadays whenever I feel lethargic or have trouble getting a good night sleep I cook this to boost my energy levels.

This is chicken essence in its purest form with no added water. When I first cooked this, Mr Redneck did not believe I could get a bowlful of soup with just placing some chicken on top of a bowl. Trust the end of 3 hours you will end up with a bowl of very nutritional soup.

Pure Chicken Essence
Yield : 1 rice bowl

1 small skinny chicken or chicken pieces (1.2kg)

chinese soup pot (fig 1)
rice bowl (fig 1)
metal rack or dish cloth
big stock pot

1. Remove skin and all fat from the chicken. Cut the chicken into big chunks.

2. Lightly crush each chicken piece with a pestle or the back of a chopper (make sure you crush the bones as well).

3. Invert a rice bowl in the chinese soup pot (fig 2).

4. Place the crushed chicken on top of the rice bowl (fig 3). Cover with the lid.

homemade essence of chicken : step by step

5. Boil some water in a big stock pot. Place a metal rack (or a folded dishcloth) in the stock pot (fig 4).

6. Place the chinese soup pot into the stock pot and put the lid on (fig 5). (Make sure the water only come up to half the height of the chinese soup pot).

7. Have it on gentle boil for 10 minutes. (Do not boil so rapidly that the water shoots over and into the soup pot. Water going in will dilute the chicken essence.)

pure essence of chicken : step by step
8. Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 3 hours. Check every half hour or so to make sure there is enough water in the stock pot. Add boiling water to top up if necessary.

9. Remove the chicken carefully from the bowl (fig 7). Do not move the bowl until all the chicken is removed.

10. Tip the bowl over to reveal the essence (fig 8).

homemade essence of chicken : step by step
11. If the essence soup has an oily layer, let stand to allow the layer to float and then scoop to remove the oil.

essence of chicken

1. A slice of ginseng ('sum' in cantonese) can be placed underneath the rice bowl before the chicken is placed on top. But be aware that ginseng can have a 'heaty' effect.
2. If available use kampong, black, organic or even free range chicken. These are leaner than ordinary chicken.

1. Do not discard the cooked chicken. I leave it in the fridge and make chicken soup the next day. Place the chicken in a small pot with enough water to cover it. Boil for ½ hour with 1 diced onion, 2 potatoes, 1 tsp whole peppercorn and a carrot. Discard the chicken (it will be quite tasteless to eat) but drink the soup and eat the potatoes and carrots.

ETA ( Jul 08) : Eversince LazYmom commented that she had tried cooking this chicken essence with the pressure cooker, I was really tempted as this would save me a great deal of time and gas. I have tried this a few times since and am happy to say I am a convert.
The method is the same except instead of using a stock pot, substitute it with a pressure cooker. Once pressure has been reached, lower the heat and continue cooking for 30 minutes. I still get my one full bowl of nutritious essence doing it this way. Thank you LazYmom for this great tip.


Little Corner of Mine said...

Wow, this is great! Thanks for the pictures illustration, at least now I know how it was done.

That bowl of chicken essence must be very sweet and tasty!

Sinner said...

Little Corner of Mine, thought I better show pictures else nobody would believe me ! lol

I do hope you will try it, it will super-engergize you to chase after your 2 daughters. :)

ICook4Fun said...

Sinner, my mom used to make this for my dad. He will drink the essence and we will eat the chicken with some soy sauce :) Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Sinner said...

ICook4Fun, welcome to my blog. Thank you for dropping by.

Anonymous said...

Sinner, since I last read your posting, I have attempted quite a number of times. The illustration is really great and easy to follow. Thank-you. However, I simmer the chicken with the pressure cooker instead. Result is excellent. It only takes me 35 min under small fire to get a bowl of chicken essence. Save time, save gas! My mom commented that the soupe really helps energize her.


Sinner said...

I was tempted to try it in the pressure cooker but didn't dare just in case the bowl in picture 5 breaks. I have only got one and can't get a replacement here.

Since you have done it, I will boil mine in the pressure cooker next time. Will save me heaps of gas and time.

Thank you for the feedback. Really appreciate it. :)

Anonymous said...

Incredible, I did not know we can DIY ourselves for the essence of chicken. Maybe next time can try out your method and no need to buy manufactured bottles from the supermarket.

Thank you for sharing.

Warmest Regards,
Raymond Tay

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for sharing! Sure would like to try someday :-) btw, not too sure abt using the pressure cooker part. Does it means put the bowl in pic 5 into a pressure cooker instead of a stock pot? And continue to simmer after pressure is reached? So gotto hv a big pressure cooker then, which I prob gotto dig it out from my store.

Sinner said...

Hi Rebecca,
Yes, put the bowl in pic 5 into the pressure cooker. Put a stand in so your bowl can sit on it. With the pressure cooker it is so much easier.

Anonymous said...

This looks good and so easy. Could you advise if it will work if I use chunks of chicken breast meat instead of whole chicken as I figure chicken breast meat is a lot leaner?

Sinner said...

Hi Mau,

Yes you can use chicken breast. You are right - it would be much leaner. Chicken breast here is so expensive.

mizzdys said...

Just checked this fabulous recipe. Thanks a lot for sharing it, I'd definitely try it :)
But, since I don't have a chinese soup pot nor a rice bowl, can I use 2 aluminium pot instead?

Sinner said...

Hi mizzdys,
I guess you can improvise and see how much essence you end up getting.
But it would be better to use a bowl for step 3. You need something small to invert (size of rice bowl).
Would love to hear your end result.

Unknown said...

Is there anything you can do with the chicken meat afterwards?

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