To prepare a Chinese hot pot, I needed to make Chinese chicken stock. Stock is an important ingredients for soups, sauces, and risottos, and homemade stock made from scratch can’t be beaten.
Traditionally Chinese chicken stock is made using a whole chicken, but for better flavor extraction I used chicken wings and ground chicken instead. There are two differences between Chinese chicken stock and ‘European’ chicken stock: for Chinese chicken stock the meat is first blanched, and the aromatics are different: ginger, garlic, cilantro, scallions, fried onions, and goji berries (also known as boxthorn seeds). To save time and achieve better flavor extraction I pressure cooked the stock; if you don’t own a pressure cooker a traditional simmer is fine too. It will just take twice as long. To make 2 litres of stock, you will need a pressure cooker with a 6 litre capacity.
The recipe for the fried onions makes about 6 times the amount needed for this recipe, and also produces onion oil. Instead you could of course make just enough to use for the stock only.
1 kg (2.2 lbs) chicken wings
1 kg (2.2 lbs) ground chicken
1 onion, quartered
2 Tbsp fried onions, see below
60 grams (2 oz) ginger, sliced
2 garlic cloves (or 1/2 single bulb garlic)
2 scallions, roughly chopped
30 grams (1 oz) fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp goji berries/boxthorn seeds
3/4 Tbsp salt, optional
For the fried onions
1 onion, about 150 grams (5 oz)
120 ml (1/2 cup) peanut oil
Put the blanched chicken wings and ground chicken in a pressure cooker or large stock pot. Add the quartered onion, 2 Tbsp fried onions, sliced ginger, whole garlic cloves, chopped scallions, chopped cilantro, and drained goji berries/boxthorn seeds.
To use a stock pot, cover the pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer for 5 hours.
Add salt to taste only if you are using the stock ‘as is’ for a soup. Never add salt if you are going to reduce the stock later on, as that would render it too salty.
For my first experiment with agar agar I made beetroot tagliatelle. It is a bit tricky to heat them up, as they will fall apart when heated to 85ºC/185ºF.