When it’s cold outside, this chicken dish will keep you warm. Chicken with Ginger Broth is not only delicious, it’s an ideal meal for those in cancer treatment. The chicken and vegetables nourish, while the gingery broth soothes digestion. However warming it may feel, according to Chinese medicine ginger is actually cooling to the body, making this perfect to eat during both chemo and radiation. It is really simple to make too. The gentle method we’ve used to steam the chicken is Chinese in origin, and if you can resist opening the lid for half an hour, you will end up with perfectly cooked chicken, and a rich flavorful gingery broth that is great to sip on if you feel nauseated.
1. Put ½ the ginger and the garlic into the chicken’s body cavity. If the chicken comes with giblets (neck, heart, gizzards, liver), put everything except the liver into the chicken’s body cavity too. It will enrich the stock.
2. Put the chicken in a heavy pot with the remaining ginger, daikon and leeks. Add enough water to almost cover the chicken and sprinkle with salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower the heat down to low. Simmer for 20 minutes then turn the heat off and leave the chicken in the pot to steam for 30 minutes. Do not remove the lid.
3. While the chicken is steaming, drain the mushrooms, cut off the hard stalks and thinly slice. Heat ½ cup water in a small saucepan and simmer the mushrooms for 5 minutes. Drain. Set aside.
4. Take the chicken from the pot, remove giblets if using, and thinly slice the breast. Bring the broth to a boil. Taste for salt.
5. Divide the spinach between 4 bowls. Add the mushrooms and then some sliced chicken. Cover with hot broth. Add a pinch of cilantro and scallions. Serve immediately.
- 1 x 3 1/2 pound whole skinless chicken, (See Ann’s Tips)
- 2 inch pieces of fresh ginger, thickly sliced (Bland diet? See Ann’s Tips)
- 3 medium leeks, white parts only
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves
- Salt, to taste
- 2 cups daikon radish (about 3 inch piece) or turnip, cut into large cubes (optional)
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms , soaked in hot water
- 4 handfuls of baby spinach, washed well
- 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, stems removed
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
Ann's Tips and Tricks
Ask the butcher to skin the chicken for you, or make this with skinless bone in chicken breasts. Cut the cooking and steaming times down by half.
If you are on a bland diet, you may want to use only 1/2 the amount of ginger root, and leave out the garlic and scallions.
If you’d like to add some calories and bulk the soup up, soak and soften some rice noodles in hot water, 1oz per person. Drain, and add to the bowls before the vegetables, chicken and broth.
If you like a little spice, mix together 1 teaspoon of toasted sesame oil, 2 teaspoons Thai chili sauce, and 1 teaspoon of soy sauce. Serve family style in a small dipping bowl. Individuals can add the sauce to the broth to suit their taste.