Peanut and Chicken Soup

I finally got down to making a Chinese soup from scratch. I have been wanting to make the classic peanut & chicken claw soup (花生鸡脚汤), but finding chicken feet in Mumbai proved challenging. Once, I asked my butcher if he had chicken feet, and he looked at me as if I was a barbarian… So, I made do with chicken bones and drumsticks, simmered the soup for 5 hours with peanuts, red dates, dried mushroom and garlic, and was rewarded with this homey and tasty soup.

By the way, this portion generates 4 generous bowls, which is too much for PJ and me. The first time we kept the leftovers in the fridge, reheated it the next day and tasted it… BOOM! The flavours were much more enhanced – sweeter and richer. Maybe the best way to have Chinese soups is to cook it the day before?

peanut and chicken soup

Serves 4-6

Prep 10 mins

Cooks 5 hours

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken bones
  • 300g raw peanuts (or you can use a mixture of peanuts & black eye peas)
  • 14 dried red dates
  • 8 dried Chinese mushrooms
  • 1 whole bulb of garlic, unpeeled (optional)
  • 2 litres water
  • 6 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 – 1.5 tsp salt
  1. Place chicken bones in a pot with water (enough to cover the bones) and bring to boil, without the lid. Once it’s boiling, remove and rinse the chicken bones.
  2. Rinse the peanuts, red dates, mushrooms and garlic.
  3. Put all the ingredients (except the drumsticks) in a pot, bring to boil and then simmer over a very low fire for 5 hours.
  4. Add the chicken drumsticks 2-3 hours after cooking.
  5. When done, add salt to taste. (I usually add slightly over 1 tsp, but make your own judgement and salt accordingly).
  6. Serve hot, or leave overnight for the flavours to blossom.
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