This is definitely the season for a warm, comforting bowl of chicken soup. Personally, it’s our go-to food for a snowy winter day…and just about any other day. You can always go the classic noodle route, but we’d rather tuck into a steaming bowl of Tom Kha Gai. This tasty Thai soup is a little bit spicy, a little bit smoky and packed coriander, kaffir lime, chili and lemongrass. Chicken and mushrooms give it a nice punch of texture, and the coconut milk broth provides a creamy kick. We mix this delectable soup up fresh daily, but we’re keeping our personal recipe a secret. However, we did come across this authentic alternative from Simple Comfort Food, a mouthwatering recipe site. If you give it a try, be sure to tell us what you think.
Simple Comfort Food’s Tom Kha Gai Soup
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Total time: 1 hour 20 mins
2 whole chicken breasts, bone in, skin on
2 whole chicken thighs, bone in, skin on
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cracked black pepper
4 cups chicken stock
8 oz can straw mushrooms, drained, rinsed, ends trimmed
6 Thai bird’s eye chilies, smashed
4 kaffir lime leaves, stems removed, leaves torn in half
1 stalk of lemongrass, top part trimmed and removed, smashed
3 inch piece of galangal, cut into coins
5 tbsp fish sauce, more to taste
16 oz canned coconut milk
2 whole limes
Thai basil, or fresh cilantro
Jasmine rice, cooked
Begin by adding your chicken pieces, skin side up, to a slow cooker. Season with salt and pepper, and add 2 cups of the chicken stock. Cook on high for 4 hours, then remove the chicken. Reserve the stock.
I poured my stock into my OXO fat separator, and let me just say, I love this thing. It allows you to quickly strain any bits, and allows for a clean pour of enriched stock, removing any of the fat. So pour the stock into your soup pot, along with the additional 2 cups of stock, and set it aside.
Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Pull the chicken apart with a couple of forks. It should be super tender. Add the chicken to the stock, and bring that up to medium heat.
Slice your mushrooms in half, vertically.
Add the mushrooms, coconut milk, Thai chilies, lemongrass, and galangal into the pot. Give a good stir, and let that come to a simmer.
Once simmering, lower the heat, and let the ingredients infuse the stock, cooking for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, toss in the lime juice, and fish sauce. Stir, and cook another 5 minutes or so.
To serve, add some of the cooked rice into your soup bowl, and ladle in a generous amount of the soup, keeping all ingredients together. Inform your guest that they should not eat the lemongrass, kaffir, nor galangal. Those are really only there for flavor. Toss in some basil, and dig in.
Photo via Simple Comfort Food, www.simplecomfortfood.com