Friday, February 08, 2008

Tinolang Manok (Chicken Soup)



Tinolang Manok (Chicken Soup)

We haven’t had soup for quite some time but with our growing kangkong in the terrace is growing so fast and are twining with the other herbs, I finally came to a moment like “you’ve got to cook something with kangkong tonight!” Checked the freezer what to get for dinner and yeah, something came up! Chicken soup (Nilat-ang Manok). What made this special is the lemon grass that I have sautéed with the onion and garlic that gave a magical asian aroma in the whole flat. I have to be honest, I am not used to sautéing with lemon grass because in Philippines, we use only the leafy part of lemon grass and we don’t sauté with it. Usually we tie the leaves into a knot and just include it while the soup is boiling. Little did I know about the white part of the lemon grass, near the roots, can be used. Usually, in the region where I grew up, we just discard them and use the green leaves instead. Here in Malaysia, they sauté it with almost everything with vegetables, rice or meat. The flavor is so mild and the aroma brings magic to anything fleshy.

Picture below is the lemon grass


Another factor that made this soup great is cooking the chicken a long time. Simmer for 2 hours. The flavors will just come out gently and cooking the chicken slowly until very tender.

Ingredients:
4 chicken drumsticks (or any bony part of chicken)
1 Onion (sliced)
1 clove Garlic (crushed)
2 sprigs of lemon grass (white part) (finely sliced)
Kangkong leaves
2 Spring onions (finely sliced)
4 String beans
1 carrot (sliced)
4 Potatoes (sliced in quarts)

Procedure:
Sautee onions, garlic and lemon grass until onion is translucent, add chicken and sauté few minutes more, add potatoes and carrots. Add enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to boil and reduce heat to simmer for 2 hours.

Add the remaining vegetables on the last minute just before serving to avoid over cooking. Add the beans first, then kangkong and lastly the spring onions.
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