Thursday, January 15, 2009

Chicken Essence 炖鸡精

The Chinese comsume a lot of chicken during confinement, most of it going into soups and herbal concoctions.
It's one kampung chicken a day! Yup! One chicken to prepare only one serving.
Well, kampung chickens are the local variety of forest chickens that runs around freely. Let's say, it's a free range chicken that is not prized for it's meat, but for its qualities. It is believed that soup made from this type of chicken is more nutricious compared to a normal free range meat chicken.

Almost everyday, I take this during confinement, except on the days when I take double boiled hasma.

So, here's how it's done

1. Put in 3 slices of angelica (dong gwai) into a big bowl.
2. Cover the angelica with a small bowl.

3. Chop Kampung chicken into smaller pieces for easy handling.
(skin and excess fat should be removed from the chicken)

4. Use a cleaver to chop and smash the chicken parts in it's bones to break up everything.
(it'll look like roadkill)

Can u recognise what part of the chicken this is???

5. Put the "chicken" into the big bowl, surrounding the smaller bowl.

6. Put in 2-4 Tbsp of liquid (water - if u're using herbs, if no herbs, u can use ginger juice, or DOM, or ginger wine or Henessy or whisky)
7. Cover the bowl with a plate.

8. Prepare half a pot of boiling water. Place a rack in the centre.
9. Place covered bowl onto the rack. Make sure the boiling water is half way up the bowl.
10. Let the water boil for another 10 minutes and turn to low heat to slowly double boil the chicken for 3 hours. You must cover the pot!

11. After 3 hours, turn off heat, and let the pot cool down to an easier to handle temperature.
12. Remove the pot cover and the covering plate. Remove bowl of chicken from pot.
13. Remove chicken bits from bowl. (the bowl looks dry, but don't be fooled)

14. Remove the small bowl and you'll release the trapped chicken essence underneath.
15. Strain the essence to remove excess oil. The chicken essence is ready to be served.

**This can be done with other herbs as well, eg: Cordyceps. Just replace the angelica in Step 1 with prefered herb.

**If u want to do this in a double boiler pot, just place the small bowl right into the upper pot of the double boiler. Place chicken directly into the upper pot with the small bowl underneath the chicken. The big bowl and plate used in this post is used in place of the upper pot of the double boiler pot.

Lydia is eyeing the chicken essence..wanting to taste it..
But I didn't let her, angelica is not advisable to be fed to small children.


  1. This is great! Thanks for the recipe. Btw i have the exact same bowl!

  2. The white bowl? or the flower rimmed one??
    It feels funny when u see a familiar bowl on the net. keke.

  3. Hi Wendy

    I came to notice the flower rimmed bowl in your last pic. I suppose that its no ordinary bowl.. Does it filter the essence such that the oil stays trapped? Juz a wild guess. Hehe.. Am always on the lookout for kitchen tools which can make life easier. :)

    Once again, great blog you have. I picked up a lot from you! Thanks.


  4. Eleen,
    That's a very ordinary bowl that came free with a tube of toothpaste.
    You can buy oil filters(for soups) from kitchen utensil shops or just skim it off with your spoon

  5. is it necessary to put wine into the chicken? or just palin water?

  6. William,
    At step 6, I have stated liquids. You can use any of those stated.
    I didn't consume wine on a regular basis.
    Nor do I consume Angelica daily.

  7. When can I start taking this in confinement?imcurrently one week into confinement can I start taking it daily? Alternate with liquor and dang gui? Thanks!

  8. Hi Wendy,
    Thank you for your great idea.
    Btw how do you clean the bowls. I have a hard time taking the mess out.

  9. mini,
    Use a metal scrubber. Soak it in water for 30 minutes, then scrub.

  10. what happens if the chicken jar cover/lid wasn't sealed properly, resulting in condensation and water to enter? My chicken is swimming in water...... not dry like yours.


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