Steamed Chicken Broth
SERVES 4 – 6
In Hong Kong, this fragrant broth is served as a beverage throughout the meal. The broth contains a bitter medicinal root called tin chat, a Chinese herb said to promote good health. You'll need two special clay Yixing steaming pots to make this recipe; both the root and pots are inexpensive and available in most Chinatowns.
1 3 lb. chicken, cut into 8 pieces
4 tbsp. Chinese rice wine
4 coin-size slices fresh ginger
2 pieces of tin chat root (optional)
1. Sprinkle chicken pieces liberally with coarse salt. Rub well to clean the meat and remove any strong flavor. Rinse thoroughly in cold running water, then rinse again with boiling water (it is believed that this is one of the secrets for a clear broth).
2. Divide chicken, wine, ginger, and tin chat (if using) between the pots. Add enough boiling water to fill each pot a little more than halfway. Stack the two pots, covering the top pot. Set the stacked pots on top of a large pot of boiling water and steam the chicken broth over medium heat for 4 hours. Add more boiling water to the large pot as necessary—about 4 cups per hour—ensuring the water doesn't boil away.
3. Before serving, remove ginger and tin chat and season with salt to taste. Serve broth with chicken immediately, or store in refrigerator. (Broth is better the second day.)