Chicken Thai soup
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Ingredients / Shopping List
4 chicken thighs
4 spring onions
1 onion
Small portion white cabbage
Salt and ground black pepper
25g Holy Basil (Thai Basil) 
1 clove garlic
1 Thai thin red chilli
1 tsp Thai fish sauce
Pinch sugar (or 1 tsp galangal)
250ml -300ml water
2 tblsp crème fraiche (optional)
 
Prep Time:   0:20
Cook Time:   0:40
Serves:   4

Prep to Cook:  Foil wrap, ovenproof dish, pan, vegetable knife, measuring jug, serving bowls, large pan, wooden spoon, chopping board, French cooks knife

Pre-heat oven to cook chicken thighs

Prep:         Step 1:  Firstly cook the chicken thighs.

Place in an ovenproof dish with 100ml water and season well.
Roast uncovered in the oven for 35 minutes at Gas Mark 4 or 180⁰C
Take out of the oven and allow to cool.  Pour off any juices and retain in a jug
Step 2:  Prepare the soup stock:
Put the Holy Basil (leaves and stems) in a processor with peeled garlic clove.
Split the red chilli and carefully remove the seeds before putting into the processor
Add the Thai fish sauce and pinch of sugar (or 1 tsp galangal) and 50ml water.
Process for 30 seconds until all the ingredients are reduced.
Pour all this into the water in a saucepan and mix thoroughly.
Add the chicken cooking juices.
Step 3: Prepare the vegetables
Trim the roots and shoots off the spring onions
Shred the spring onions into whisper thin strands.  Retain some for garnish and put the remains in the soup.
Peel and slice the onion, again into whisper thin slices to go into the soup pan.
Take the portion of hard white cabbage and slice very finely to give shavings of cabbage to add to the soup.
Step 4: Prepare the cooked chicken meat
Remove the skin from each of the thighs and take the chicken off the bone.
Pile up the meat on a chopping board.
Using two forks shred the chicken meat into torn strips.
Throw away the skin and bones (or retain for stock making).
Step 5: Create the soup meal:
Add the chicken to the spicy juices and stir well, taste and add seasoning if needed
Bring to the boil and check the vegetables are softened. Remove from the hob.
Stir in the crème fraiche (optional)  Serve piping hot.
 
Check it out !
Holy Basil is a type of basil used in Thai cooking.  The basil has a peppery, aniseed and spicy flavour and has pointed leaves and a purple stem.  
This is hot and tangy.  Low in calories and quick to make once the chicken is cooked.
 

Cooks Know How: The main skills in this recipe are cooking the chicken thighs and cutting the vegetables thin enough. The spring onions, onions and cabbage need to be in wafer thin strands.  

Preparing the soup stock is also a skill.  Getting the right flavour from the garlic, Holy Basil, chilli and other stock ingredients needs practise. Too much chilli will make the stock too hot and the soup is difficult to eat!
Cooking chicken thighs needs to ensure that the meat is tender, safe and will fall away from the bone.  The meat is cheaper than breast meat and slightly darker in colour.  The fat in the skin will keep the thighs moist during cooking.  On cooling the skin can easily be peeled off and the bones removed to leave the meat.  Use two forks to pull the chicken into strands so that it will heat up quickly in the soup. Using the cooking juices in the stock will improve the flavour.
The real skill is shown when slicing the onion, cabbage and spring onions.  They need to be wafer thin.  This is a good test for knife skills. If the vegetables are thin enough they will cook as the soup comes up to the boil.  
Pile all the slices and flaked ingredients into the soup pan and bring back up to the boil.
Add a little more water if required. 
The crème fraiche will offset the heat of the chilli. 
I like to serve it in deep bowls with some lumps of bread to dunk in the juices.
 

 

Next Time

Make this soup as a way of using up left-over chicken meat. Add other seasonal vegetables cut wafer thin.  You could also substitute prawns for a really quick soup.