While in Indonesia I discovered the delightful soto ayam which is their style of chicken soup. The flavors mesh perfect together and I left the country having found one of my favorite recipes. My family and I visit The Noodle House frequently and the sous chef who is from Indonesia always makes this dish for me. I have always wanted to try it myself at home but never had all the ingredients. However this weekend I made sure to get them so I could make it myself. Unlike the Western soup which is already served for you with everything this dish was served in Indonesia separately. The broth was in one large pot and you would first add the broth and then the toppings of your choice. Soy sauce, eggs, lime, scallions and sambal are an absolute must for this main course.
1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), cut into pieces (including back)
7 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 stalk of lemon grass (cut into 3 strips)
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1-1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
4 scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2-inch piece of galangal (peeled and sliced)
2-inch piece of ginger (peeled and sliced)
Juice of 1 lime
1 packet of vermicelli or 2 packets instant noodles, cooked per package directions
Quartered boiled eggs
1. Bring chicken, water, and 1 tablespoon salt to a boil in a large stockpot. Skim foam.
2. Add coconut milk, lemon grass, coriander, cumin, shallots, garlic, turmeric, galangal, red pepper flakes, salt, ginger and lime juice. Bring to a full boil, cover and reduce too low for 45 minutes.
3. Remove chicken and shred from bone. Add shredded chicken back into soup. Discard bones. Bring to a full boil, cover then reduce heat to low. Allow to cook another 15 minutes.
4. Add broth into bowl then add toppings as you like.
Yields: 4 servings