This aromatic Indonesian soup is traditionally served with an array of garnishes - blanched bean sprouts, wedges of hard-cooked egg, noodles, sprigs of Chinese celery and crisp fried shallot flakes are some of the customary additions. Prepare as many of the garnishes as you like.
- For Stock:
- 1 chicken, 2 1/2 pounds, cut up
- 3 leafy celery tops
- 1 yellow onion, quartered
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 cardamom pods
- For Spice Paste:
- 3 lemongrass stalks, tender heart section only, coarsely chopped
- 4 fresh or 2 dried galangal slices, about 1 inch in diameter; soak dried slices in water for 30 minutes, then drain and chop
- 1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 6 candlenuts or blanched almonds
- 1 piece fresh ginger, 1 1/2 inches long, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- About 3 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons peanut or corn oil
- For Potato Patties:
- 1 lb baking potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
- 1 green (spring) onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Vegetable oil for frying
FOR STOCK: Place the chicken in a large stockpot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming off any scum. Add the celery tops, onion, cinnamon and cardamom. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 40 minutes. Transfer the breasts to a plate and let cool. Continue simmering the stock for 20 minutes longer to concentrate the flavor.
Let the stock cool, then strain through a sieve into a bowl. Let stand until the fat rises to the surface. Using a large spoon, skim off the fat and discard. You should have about 8 cups.
Skin and bone the chicken breasts and hand shred the meat with the grain; set aside. Reserve the remaining chicken pieces for another use.
FOR SPICE PASTE: In a blender, combine the lemongrass, galangal, onion, garlic, candlenuts or almonds, ginger, coriander, pepper, turmeric, sugar and salt. Add water as needed to facilitate blending and blend to a smooth paste.
In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Stir in the spice paste and cook, stirring frequently, until well combined and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the strained chicken stock and simmer for 15 minutes to infuse the stock fully with the paste. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if necessary. Keep warm.
FOR POTATO PATTIES: Combine all the ingredients, except the oil, in a bowl. Using a potato masher or fork, mash the potatoes thoroughly, mixing well. Form into twelve 1-inch balls and flatten each into a patty 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
In a deep frying pan, pour in oil to a depth of 1 inch and heat to 375 degrees on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the patties, a few at a time, and fry until golden brown on the underside, about 3 minutes. Turn over and continue to fry until golden brown on the second side, about 1 minute longer. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Keep warm while you fry the remaining patties.
TO SERVE: Bring the stock to a simmer. Distribute the shredded chicken evenly among 6 warmed soup bowls and ladle the hot stock on top. Garnish each bowl with 2 potato patties and any of the traditional garnishes (see note above). Serve hot.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
342 calories; 12g total fat; 112mg cholesterol; 712mg sodium; 31g carbohydrates; 5g fiber; 29g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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