I first discovered this incredibly aromatic broth while poaching a duck for Martin Yan's Peking Duck recipe from his Chinatown cookbook. The poaching liquid was so delicious, we reused it for hot and sour soup -- incredible! I've since made some adjustments and taken a few suggestions from Fuschia Dunlop's aromatic broth recipe in her cookbook Land of Plenty. I like to use this broth for any Asian soup, even something as simple as wonton or noodle soup. I list the tangerine peel as optional because it can be hard to track down if you don't live near a good Asian grocer. —student epicure
whole star anise
large knob ginger, washed, but left unpeeled and thinly sliced
whole black peppercorns, like Tellicherry
Secure the star anise, ginger, Sichuan peppercorns, black peppercorns, fennel seeds, cardamom, bay leaf, and cinnamon sticks in a piece of cheesecloth tied with string. If you don't have cheesecloth, place the ingredients in a large coffee filter, fold over the open end, and staple close. Place the spice bundle in a 5-quart stock pot, along with the soy sauce, scallions, brown sugar, and chicken. Fill pot with water.
Heat water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer half covered for about 1 hour. Remove spice bundle, scallions, and chicken.