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Ming says: For me, chicken broth is the soul of Chinese cooking and an indispensable East-West ingredient. We use it for innumerable dishes, from soups and stir-frys to braises and sauces. Use the broth to cook rice and for risottos.
What makes my version different from most is the addition of star anise, ginger, and soy sauce, which not only salts the broth, but provides depth of flavor. This chicken broth is so simple to make, and keeps so beautifully, it's almost a shame not to have some on hand at all times. If you don't want to bother freezing the broth, you can extend its refrigerated life by boiling it every 5 days or so, cooling it, and then re-refrigerating it. That way, it will last 2 to 3 weeks.
You've probably heard chicken soup called Jewish penicillin. Now there's Chinese penicillin, too: steep 8 (a lucky number to the Chinese) slices of ginger in 4 cups of hot broth for 30 minutes, strain it out, and serve the soup. (You can also add ginseng.) The soup's great for colds and sore throats, I've found. For instant poultry "sauces," use about 1 cup of the broth to deglaze the pan in which chicken, turkey, or meat has cooked. While the broth cooks down, mix 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with an additional 2 tablespoons of broth, and stir this slurry into the pan to thicken the sauce lightly.... Read more.
Rinse the bones and place them in a large stockpot.
Add enough cold water to cover the bones by 3 to 4 inches and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
Skim the scum that rises to the surface as it appears, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until chicken fat rises to the surface, about 1 hour. (Ladle the fat into a bowl and reserve for other cooking.)
Add the celery, carrots, onions, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, star anise, ginger, and soy sauce.
Continue to simmer until the stock is well flavored, 3 to 4 hours more.
Strain the stock and allow to cool to room temperature.
Use or store. Lasts about 1 week refrigerated or 1 month frozen.
You'll want to use chicken bones, rather than meaty parts, to make the broth. Ask your butcher for the bones or buy chicken wings and backs at the supermarket. If you live near a Chinatown, you can get chicken feet, which add a rich gelatinous quality to your broth.
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