6 cups of chicken broth
less than a pound of minced chicken
a can of cream-style corn
salt and pepper
rice (if you’re hungry)
Today I was broke. I’ll probably be broke for the rest of the month. But I still have to eat.
The guy that lived downstairs from me for a bit was a chef. He left behind a large covered food tray of chicken bones to be used for stock or gravy or whatever. It was so much that it didn’t fit in any of our freezers so he left them outside.
Today the temperature rose from almost -20 degrees celsius to +3. So at least some of those bones had to get used. I got a bottle of sesame oil that will probably never run out and a container of egg whites from when I made custard on new year’s. I didn’t know if they were still good, but I didn’t give a shit. I’m supposed to be broke.
All I needed was less than a pound of chicken and a can of cream of corn. That’s less than 5 bucks.
The smart thing to do would have been to fill a large sauce pan 3/4 of the way with chicken bones, cover with cold water, salt, pepper, and let that simmer while I hit up china-town for the chicken and corn. But I really didn’t think of the chicken bones until I got back home.
When you’re making broth, you really want to do it overnight. But since these bones were already cooked, I figured I could get away with it. I brought the bones to a boil on high, thinking that would do something to release the flavour quicker (tell me if I’m dumb). When it came to a boil I added about an inch of unpeeled sliced ginger and a couple chopped butt-ends of some green onion (that’s the white part where I’m from). Then I brought the broth down to a simmer.
I left it alone for just over an hour. Remember, real broth is an over-night thing, so you want to give it at least an hour. During which time you can make some rice and facebook that you’re cooking some chinese shit.
Traditionally, this is supposed to be a thin soup to accompany a meal. But since we’re broke we’re dumping it on top a bowl of white rice and making that shit a meal.
You can also take the time to mince your chicken during this time. I didn’t.
(For fuck’s sake, season the chicken once it’s minced. Unless you want it to taste like crushed up packaging foam.)
Taste the broth. Close your eyes and decide whether that’s chicken broth or not. If it’s not; give it some more time or add some water or add some store-bought broth. It’s just chinese cream corn chicken soup. You already faux pas’d when you bought that can of corn.
If it’s ready, strain the bones from the broth. There might be a shitload of shredded-like chicken you may be tempted to separate from the bones, but look at it. That shit’s gonna take forever. You won’t be saving any children in third-world countries by busting your ass saving that chicken. During that time you could have been reading a book. Face the guilt and toss that shit.
In a separate container- I used a pitcher- add about a cup of the hot broth to the mince chicken and can of corn. Mix it around. Add the mixture back to the rest of the broth and bring the whole thing back to a boil on about medium.
When it’s come to a boil or when you see the chicken is cooked, turn off the heat. Add the egg whites and mix it around immediately so they break up. Add the other part of the green onion (the green part) that you remembered to chop while the broth was going. Add a cap full or less of sesame oil.
Taste it. If it tastes like chinese cream corn chicken soup, you’re done.
I learned this from the only other asian-guy in my building when I was living in British Columbia and I used http://chinesefood.about.com/od/chinesesouprecipes/r/cannedcornsoup.htm as a reference.