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Andy Oliver's Coconut, Chicken and Lemongrass Noodle Soup

/ Categories Recipes, Guest Chefs & Friends of Leiths, #CookWithLeiths / Author:

Andy Oliver's Coconut, Chicken and Lemongrass Noodle Soup

As cooking in lockdown continues, we are still here to provide you with inspiration and recipes to keep you smiling. We feel very lucky to have an outstanding line-up of guest chefs and friends of Leiths who are sharing their content with us to stay connected with you, as many of thier classes have been postponed. Thai cookery expert, Andy Oliver, was due to teach his first cooking class with us this month, but this will now take place later in the year. To fill the void, Andy is bringing you a wealth of content this week; first up, his coconut, chicken and lemongrass noodle soup.

This isn’t an “authentic” Thai dish, more a rough guide to making a really simple and satisfying chicken noodle soup using some Southeast Asian ingredients and cooking techniques. You can easily vary the recipe according to what ingredients you have to hand - e.g do a version using oyster mushrooms, or without coconut milk; or use ginger instead of galangal, black pepper instead of white etc...


Bruising the ingredients before adding them to poaching stock really helps to get the best flavour from them - use a pestle and mortar for this, or if you’ve not got one, then just put them in a freezer bag and whack 'em up with a rolling pin!

Ingredients

Serves 2

To poach the chicken
2 free range chicken legs
8 - 10 white peppercorns (or feel free to use black here)
Salt
1 x 1inch thick slice of ginger, skin on is fine
½ small a white onion
2 garlic cloves
A few coriander roots, or stalks

To finish the broth
1/4 a teaspoon turmeric powder
3 lemongrass stalks, bruised to release the flavour
4 - 5 fresh or frozen kaffir lime leaves (optional)
1 can of coconut milk
Fish sauce
1/2 a teaspoon palm or brown sugar

In the bowl
A bunch of spring onions
A handful of beansprouts or some thinly shredded Chinese cabbage
A handful of picked coriander leaves
Picked Thai basil leaves (optional)
Rice or egg noodles, fresh or frozen, enough for 2 generous portions

On the side
1 lime, cut into cheeks or wedges
phrik nahm pla (chilli and fish sauce condiment)
3-4 bird’s eye chillies, cut into chunky slices (0.5 - 1cm in width)
3-4 bird’s eye chillies, cut into chunky slices (0.5 - 1cm in width)
5 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 small slice of lime

Instructions

  1. First make the phrik nahm pla (fish sauce condiment): mix all the chopped ingredients with the fish sauce, giving the lime slice a little squeeze as you add it in. Stir and let sit - to allow the flavours to meld.
  2. Now to poach the chicken and create the broth… Bring 1 litre of water to a gentle simmer in a medium sized pan, lightly season it with salt - about a scant teaspoon’s worth - and then lower in your chicken legs. Bring the liquid back to a gentle simmer and then quickly bruise all the stock ingredients in a pestle and mortar (or using the rolling pin + bag technique) and add them to the pot too. Put on the smallest burner add the lowest heat and cover with a lid to very gently simmer.
  3. Meanwhile cook your noodles according to the packet instructions, drain them, rinse them, and drain them again. Set aside ready for later.
  4. Once your chicken has had 30-35 minutes of simmering, turn the heat off, drain the chicken being sure to reserve the poaching liquid. Place the chicken legs on a plate to cool a little, and chuck the rest of the sieved out gubbins away.
  5. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin, pick the meat from the bone and roughly pick poached chicken into bite sized pieces. Discard the bones and skin.
  6. Give you pan a rinse and return it to the stove, add you tin of coconut milk, plus the same volume again (use the empty can as a measure) of the your strained chicken poaching stock - the rest of the the chicken broth you can freeze the rest and use as chicken stock for any Asian dishes.
  7. Bring this all back to the simmer, then add the lemongrass stalks, turmeric powder and (if using) roughly tear in your kaffir lime leaves now too. Add your poached & picked chicken, the palm (or brown) sugar and 1-2 tablespoons of fish sauce and taste - it should be nicely seasoned while still leaving room to use your chilli fish sauce condiment) later. Simmer for 5 minutes, now you’re ready to serve...
  8. Divide the noodles between 2 deep soup bowls.
  9. Double check the seasoning of the coconut lemongrass broth, when you’re happy with it, make sure it’s nice and hot and generously ladle it the broth and poached chicken over each bowl. Top each bowl with the beansprouts (or shredded cabbage), sliced spring onions and picked herbs.
  10. Serve it with lime cheeks and chilli fish sauce condiment on the side.
Andy Oliver

Author: Andy Oliver

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