When I was in Thailand during the warm part of the year, I stumbled upon a woman selling soup out of her garage. Needless to say this was not on the tourist restaurant listings. Regardless it was the best chicken soup I ever had and continued to enjoy it everyday for lunch the last 9 days of my trip. This summer soup I have created uses some classic Thai methods mixed with a few of my own twists. I hope you will enjoy this fresh and delicious soup. —Mark Hardin
Thai Chicken Stock
chicken thighs, on bones with skin, about 8-10 large thighs
white onion, rough chopped
fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
fresh cilantro with about 18-24 roots (roots and stems to be added to stock and leaves reserved for garnish)
fresh lemon grass, bulbs and about 6" of stalks
Thoroughly rinse the cilantro and the roots. Trim the roots and stems from the upper leaves, into 3"-4" lengths. Reserve the cilantro leaves, refrigerating them for later use in soup
Prep and place the first set of ingredients, as directed, in a wide-bottomed, 12-quart stockpot to which 6 quarts of water has been added. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, and, using a skimmer, remove and discard all of the white foam as it collects on top of the liquid. This process will take about 10 minutes.
Partially cover and reduce heat to simmer gently, 3 hours. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 2-2 1/2 hours.
Using a large slotted spoon, remove and transfer the chicken thighs to a large plate. Next, remove and discard all of the large vegetables.
Ladle the stock into a fat/lean separator. Pour the stock from the separator, through a mesh strainer, into the desired sized food storage containers, leaving about 1/2" of headspace at the top of each container to allow for expansion if you are freezing the stock. Discard fat from separator. Repeat this process until all the stock has been separated and strained.
Once the chicken has cooled take the chicken and pick from bones. Discard fat and bones. Divide the chicken into four piles.
Take julienned butternut squash and toss with 1 Tbsp of canola, salt and pepper and cook at 400 for 15 minutes.
Divide stock into four bowls. Add chicken to each bowl as well as the sprouts, shiitake mushrooms, squash and basil. sprinkle thye Thai peppers on.
Stir and eat