Chicken and Rice Soup With Ginger and Turmeric
Many countries have some form of creamy rice porridge in their culinary canon, such as Chinese congee, Filipino lugaw or arroz caldo and Korean juk, to name just a few. Seasonings vary, but all call for simmering a little bit of rice with a lot of liquid until the grains tenderize and break down to create a deeply comforting soup. Ideal for those harboring colds or seeking comfort, this brothy chicken-and-rice soup begins with poaching an entire chicken, which takes time, but guarantees tender meat. The rendered fat creates a rich, flavorful broth, while coriander and turmeric add earthy notes. Fresh cilantro, red chile and ginger brighten the dish.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 3tablespoons neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable oil
- 5scallions, thinly sliced crosswise (about 3/4 cup), plus 1 to 2 scallions, thinly sliced on an angle, for garnish
- 5garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 3tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger (from one 3-inch piece), plus extra julienned ginger, for garnish
- 4teaspoons ground coriander
- 1tablespoon ground turmeric
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 ½cups short-grain brown rice or Arborio rice (10 ounces)
- 3quarts chicken stock
- 3bunches baby bok choy (about 1 pound)
- 1(3- to 4-pound) chicken, wings and legs removed and reserved (this will help the chicken fit better in the pot)
- Sliced fresh red chile and chopped cilantro, for serving
Step 1In a large pot, combine the oil with 3/4 cup scallions, the garlic, finely chopped ginger, coriander and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-low, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
Step 2Add the rice and stir until coated. Add the chicken stock and 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil over high. Meanwhile, prepare the bok choy: Trim and discard the ends, then halve crosswise, separating the leafy bok choy tops from the heftier stems. Cut the stems crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
Step 3Once the stock comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and carefully add the whole chicken, then the wings and legs, adding the meat in a single layer. (If the chicken isn’t fully submerged, add enough water until the meat is fully covered.) Cover the pot with a lid, leaving the lid cracked open about 1 inch, and simmer over medium-low until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 25 minutes. (Reduce the heat to low if necessary. You want to keep it at a low simmer to ensure the chicken stays tender.) Transfer the chicken to a large bowl.
Step 4Continue to cook the soup over medium, uncovered, until the rice is tender and the liquid starts to thicken, 20 to 25 minutes. While the rice continues to cook, shred the chicken: Once cool, discard the chicken skin and tear the meat into bite-size pieces, discarding the bones. (You should have about 3 packed cups of shredded meat.)
Step 5Stir the bok choy stems and shredded chicken into the soup, and simmer just until stems are slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the leafy bok choy tops, and season to taste with salt.
Step 6Divide among bowls and serve with bowls of chile, cilantro, sliced scallions and julienned ginger, to garnish.