“How about having a bowl of steamy hot nutritious Silkie (black chicken) tonic soup for tonight’s dinner?”

Silkie, or another name which is more commonly known as, black chicken. Black chicken is often used to cook in soup with Chinese herbs as it claims to be more nutritious (higer in dietary minerals) and less fat content. Silkie is whole black from its skin to even the bones. The meat is more greyish colour. Basically, beside the colour and invisible high values of nutrients, the taste and texture of meat has no much difference, to me. However, some say that the meat is not just leaner, but also softer.

Taste of this tonic soup was pleasant. It was fragrant, flavoursome with natural sweetness in the palate. Adding some Hua Diao wine is important to enhance the taste of the soup. This soup is healthy and beneficial for all in the family.

Ingredients
1 silkie aka black chicken, skinned, removed head and feet, quartered
Slabs of salt and ground white pepper
1/2 tablespoon of Hsao Hsing Hua Diao rice wine (绍兴花雕酒)
6 cups of water, 50% filled in a large pot (about 1500ml)


Chinese herbal ingredients:
20 grams of Ginseng (人参) or Codonopsis Pilosulae “Dang shen” (黨參)
15 grams of Wolfberries, about 1 tablespoon (枸杞)
10 grams of Chinese Angelicae Root “Dang gui” (当归)
5 grams of Rhizoma “Chuan xiong” (川芎) *pic on right
6 grams of Liquorice Root (甘草) *pic on lower right
10 gram of Dried Longan (龙眼肉干)

Method
1) Boil a pot of water over medium – high heat.

2) When boiled, add in chicken and Chinese herbs. Bring all ingredients to a boil again. Then, reduce heat to low fire, and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hour.

3) Add rice wine right before heat off. Stir briefly to combine. Serve hot.

Calorie of a regular portion of Black Chicken Soup with quartered skinned chicken meat counts about 280kcal.

Tips: Amount of Chinese herbs used should be in moderate. Get these herbs from Chinese medicine/ herbal shop, tell shop keeper to prepare the right amount for you by telling them your serving amount of black chicken soup, if it is difficult for you to gauge.
* If you think ginseng is too expensive, replace it with Dang Shen which is also a kind of superior herb resembles ginseng and the therapeutic properties are similar. Just that it is not as expensive, and its flavour is not as intense as ginseng. *pic on right