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Chicken Blood and Intestine Soup

(ji za tang, 鸡杂汤)

To kill a chicken for the following recipe,you will need to collect the fresh blood, which means slitting the bird’s throat—preferably after first stunning it or wringing its neck. To process the blood in the Chinese way, first place a scant 1/2 cup cold water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon vegetable oil in a heatproof vessel large enough to catch the blood; drain the fresh blood directly into this vessel and immediately mix everything together very well. Leave the blood mixture for a few minutes—it will congeal. Then boil the blood
for several minutes in a bain–marie, until it has set to a dark, purplish jelly. Leave to cool before slicing.

When you gut the chicken, slice open the intestines: I found the easiest way to do this was to insert a sharp scissor blade in one end and then run it along the length of the tube, slitting it open. Rinse the intestines very thoroughly under the cold tap, and then place in a bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and rub it in; then rinse again. Do the same with another 1/2 teaspoon salt and a splash of Shaoxing wine. When the intestines are completely clean and the rinse water is clear, they are ready for cooking.

Chicken Blood and Intestine Soup

Makes 4 servings
  • + congealed blood jelly
  • + cleaned chicken intestines
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked for at least 30 minutes in hot water
  • 2 T winter bamboo shoots (canned is fine)
  • 1 T neutral oil
  • 1 t finely chopped ginger
  • 1 t finely chopped scallion
  • 2 1/4 C Chicken Stock
  • 2 t Shaoxing wine
  • + fine-grained salt
  • + a pinch of white pepper
  • 1 cilantro sprig, for garnish

Chicken Stock

  • 1 2" inch piece ginger, with the skin on
  • 2 scallions, white parts only
  • 1 chicken carcass with the leg bones, wing bones, and neck
  • 1 T Shaoxing wine

Preparation

Make the Chicken Stock

Chicken Stock
  • 1 2" inch piece ginger, with the skin on
  • 2 scallions, white parts only
  • 1 chicken carcass with the leg bones, wing bones, and neck
  • 1 T Shaoxing wine
  1. Smack the ginger and scallion whites with the side of a cleaver blade to loosen their fibers. Bring a large potful of water to boil over a high flame. Add the chicken carcass and boil 2–3 minutes, allowing any impurities to rise to the surface.

  2. Tip the carcass into a colander and rinse thoroughly under the cold tap, discarding the blanching water. Then return the carcass to the pot, cover with fresh water, and bring to boil over a high flame. Skim the impurities from the surface if necessary.

  3. Add the ginger, scallions, and Shaoxing wine. Lower the heat and simmer while you prepare the other ingredients.

Make the Chicken Blood and Intestine Soup

Chicken Blood and Intestine Soup
  • + congealed blood jelly
  • + cleaned chicken intestines
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked for at least 30 minutes in hot water
  • 2 T winter bamboo shoots (canned is fine)
  • 1 T neutral oil
  • 1 t finely chopped ginger
  • 1 t finely chopped scallion
  • 2 1/4 C Chicken Stock
  • 2 t Shaoxing wine
  • + fine-grained salt
  • + a pinch of white pepper
  • 1 cilantro sprig, for garnish
  1. Cut the jellied chicken blood into 1/8-inch slices (you will only need about half of it). Cut the intestines into 1 ¾-inch lengths. Thinly slice the soaked mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Blanch the bamboo slices in boiling water for a minute or so to refresh.

  2. Heat the oil in a seasoned wok over a high flame. Add the ginger and scallions and stir-fry very briefly, until they sizzle. Add the Chicken Stock and bring to a boil. Add the blood, mushrooms, and bamboo shoots and return the mixture to a boil. Add the Shaoxing wine and salt to taste.

  3. Finally, add the intestines to the wok and return to a boil. Pour into a serving dish. Sprinkle with white pepper and garnish with cilantro to serve.