Chicken, mushroom and lemongrass broth

Serves 4
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Indy Lifestyle Online

You can buy chicken wings for next to nothing. Or build up a collection in the freezer by cutting off the wings before you roast a whole bird. Most supermarkets will stock at least one or two types of oriental mushroom and if not you can buy dried ones from an oriental grocer to make up the selection.

12 chicken wings
2 litres chicken stock (a cube will do)
3tbsp soy sauce
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 small leek, roughly chopped and washed
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
1 stick of lemongrass, roughly chopped
30g root ginger or galangal, scraped and roughly chopped
2 lime leaves

to serve
100g selection of oriental mushrooms such as shiitake, enoki, shimeji, black fungus etc
4 lime leaves
4 spring onions, shredded on the bias
A few sprigs of coriander or Chinese parsley, shredded

First trim the chicken wings. With a heavy knife chop just inside the joint on either side of the middle of the wing. Put these trimmed wings to one side.

Put the chopped-off outer trimmings into a large saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 1 hour.

Meanwhile tackle the mushrooms: trim the stalks from the shiitake, add the stalks to the stock and quarter the tops. Other mushrooms like enoki are cultivated on clumps, so separate them, adding the clump to the stock and keeping back the tops.

After an hour, strain the broth through a fine-meshed sieve and season with salt and pepper. Return to the pan and bring the broth back to a simmer. Add the trimmed chicken wings and poach for 15 minutes. Remove them from the broth with a slotted spoon and leave to cool. When they're cool enough to handle, carefully pull away the two bones from inside the wings, leaving the flesh and shape intact.

To serve add the mushrooms to the soup. Large mushrooms such as shiitake will need simmering for a few minutes before adding the smaller ones like enoki which barely need cooking at all. Add the lime leaves, spring onions, boneless chicken wings and coriander, and serve.