or how to make such tasty food look so bad.
Our first wedding anniversary comes in 5 days and I could ask for everything as my gift. I could have famous brand bags or diamond ring… and I picked a new, bigger FRIDGE. And since he wants to make me happy, he took our tiny car and with help of wonderful SEARS staff packed that giant shiny monster into our car praying that police won’t see us. Of course usually don’t see police in our neighbourhood but that day 3 of them just magically appeared while we were praying for fridge not to fall out from open doors.
You can ask me why fridge? I asked myself too, how in the earth I wanted a new fridge. I won’t bring my friends over and ask ‘Check this little thing, my husband bought it for me’, and they won’t be like ‘Oh my God! It’s beautiful!’. But I love cooking, I love making my husband so delighted and proud of me. Maybe it’s a bit of ‘showing off’ but I’m proud when he says ‘I can’t belive that my white wife cooks me my Asian food’.
Of course just because I can make a similar/same taste it doesn’t mean it looks nice. Believe me, you wouldn’t want me to do your plastic surgery or paint your house. My lack of any artistic gift made me rename korean samgyetang – FRANKENSTEIN CHICKEN. Since I have much more space in my new fridge I can cook more different kinds of food without worrying if I have place to put them. Before that I hardly made any soup just because it would be a waste. Today I want to share a recipe for my Frankenstein chicken with you, it’s little bit modified to my husband’s taste, but it’s based on samgyetang recipe.
Samgyetang a korean soup based on whole little chicken, ginseng and ginger. It’s really easy to make, to prepare it you need:
- small chicken or hen – I got our in Korean Mall in San Jose, they are already clean inside, don’t need to bother with taking out all of it’s stuff – 2.99 USD for 16 oz. hen, biggest one was 24 oz. but one is good enough for one hungry husband
- roots of dried ginseng – taste of the soup should have really heave taste of ginseng, it’s really expensive so I just used one root, it’s better than using powder, because dried powder can be anything; if you can add more, like 2-3 roots
- chestnuts – original recipe contains it, but I couldn’t find them in our shopping mall so I didn’t add them, my husband didn’t feel the difference since it’s not the base of the taste.
- red dried dates – it can be 5 it can be 10 of them, they don’t give much to the taste of the soup but if you like their taste just put a bit more
- (sticky) rice – in original recipe you should use around 1/2 cup of rice for 2 hens, I used 1/2 for one and it was too much; also recipe mentions sticky rice – everyone who tried sticky rice knows it makes you feel really full and at least in our case I exchange it with normal rice
- garlic cloves
- 7 cups of water – first put 5, later put the 2 rest to cover the chicken
- 2 cm piece of ginger
- green onion
- salt and pepper
First of all clean your rice and wash your chicken, from inside and outside. If it has his ‘stuff’ inside, take it out, but I recommend buying one specially made for that, their belly is completly empty, so the only effort is in rinsing them with a water.
Cut away any visible fat but DO NOT REMOVE THE SKIN. Use the butt to stuff your chicken with cleaned rice, whole peeled garlic cloves – I put four – and optionally for me, chestnuts. I had too much rice so I was worried if chicken can handle it. With all my worries I tried to use toothpicks, but still rice was falling out and I used needle and thread… and this is how chickenstein was made. Now you know why I call it this way.
Wash the ginseng, peal the skin from ginger and pour water to the soup pot. I cut the ginger into slices, just like my mother in law does, but I don’t think it’s a big matter how you do it, for ginseng just chop off the ‘legs’ into smaller pieces. Place your chicken with ginger, ginseng and red dates.
Pour water until it covers the hen, most of the water will be gone when you’re done with boiling the soup. Bring it up to boiling, then turn it to the smallest fire. I cooked it for 90 minutes, it was enough, maybe for two hens it will take around 2 hours, but just remember not to overcook it, so the chicken doesn’t get destroyed.
Skim fat from it, if it’s needed. Personally I didn’t need to do that. Don’t put salt and pepper yet. Once it’s done put chicken to the pot, pour some of the soup with it’s ingredients, chop some green onion and sprinkle it on the chicken. I serve it with kimchi side dishes bought in korean market and a little bit of soju (韓國燒酒) in a tiny cup. Some Koreans like to add it to the soup but my husband drinked it on it’s own.
Now cut your chicken into half, eat rice from inside and meat from outside. Don’t put salt and pepper to the soup, on a small dish next to you put it separetly and just dip the meat in it. And that’s all – your chickenstein is done!
It doesn’t cost you much effort, but it’s tasty, very good for your health, especially during the winted. Ginsegn is famous in chinese medicine, especially for people ‘cold’ like me. My husband on the other hand is very ‘warm’ according to it. I don’t believe in it, but I respect it and try to cook things suitable for ‘hot type’ person. No matter if you are hot or cold person, you should try it!
At the very end I want to show off with my new love – Mr. Fridgy! Caused us a lot of trouble, at 10 PM we had to move all whole room because it was too big but I still love it. That surely was the best gift I could ask for.
Thank you for all the likes and comments, here or on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/My-Hong-Kong-husband/147980925392373 . I already have more than 1800 views, 51 comments and 93 followers. Thank you very, very much!