Is there anything better than a good chintan? This Asian broth is a delicious stock of shoyu ramen. The savory chicken and bold ginger flavor of the chintan is perfect for one of the South’s tumultuously windy rain-filled days. The floating scent of the boiling stock will curl through your home. The broth can be saved for later. A versatile recipe, this Chintan ought to be a staple in your culinary repetiteur.
Food Culture of the South
Makes about 6 cups
2 pounds chicken feet
1 (5-6 pound) whole chicken
2 cups unpeeled, thinly sliced ginger
1 (12×12-inch) piece kombu
Special equipment: Attachable thermometer
Using a pressure cooker takes the stress out of making ramen broth (and cuts the cook time from six hours to a quick ninety minutes). The key to a perfectly golden end product is to keep oxygen out––no sweat with a locking lid.
Break out the Instant Pot
- Arrange chicken feet in the bottom of a 10-quart or larger heavy-bottomed stockpot with a thermometer attached. Add enough cool water to just cover. Bring to a boil over high heat; as soon as the water reaches
a boil, remove from heat and drain. Set chicken feet aside.
- Cut whole chicken into quarters: With the tip of a sharp knife, cut off wings. Remove breast meat by guiding your knife along both sides of the cartilage at the end of the breastbone. (Reserve breast meat for another use.) Turn chicken breast-side down and cut lengthwise down the center, separating the thighs.
- Tightly pack chicken wings, thighs, and carcass, including skin, into the stockpot (for stovetop method) or pressure cooker insert—the goal is for the bones to remain relatively still while they cook. Arrange chicken feet in a tight formation on top of the chicken. Transfer pot to the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour. This allows the feet to congeal together and form a “raft” on top of the bones. (If you don’t have room in your fridge to chill the whole stockpot, watch the stock very closely to ensure it never boils— this will allow the feet to release their collagen and seal the pot, which keeps oxygen out. The lack of oxygen is key to a beautiful, golden stock.)
- Add just enough water to cover the chicken—the ideal ratio is about 2:1 water to bones. Place over medium heat. You do not want to see bubbles or steam coming off the pot or see the bones rolling. Slowly bring the broth to about 190 to 200 degrees. Don’t rush this process; it should take about an hour.
- When the mixture reaches 190 degrees, you should see a few bubbles, but never a boil. A filmy brown foam will begin to rise to the top: Do not skim the foam. It helps to clarify the stock and contains essential amino acids. When you start to see a layer of fat coming off the bones, cover the pot to keep oxygen out. Continue simmering at 180 to 190 degrees for 6 hours. Do not stir the broth.
- While the broth is cooking, prepare a large bowl to chill the broth in. Once broth is a rich golden color (and your entire house smells like chicken soup), taste it. It should taste of chicken first, not water. If your stock tastes like water first, cook at 200 degrees for up to 1 hour—but don’t let the broth cook longer or it will lose its clarity and the color will become less vibrant.
- Strain broth into a bowl, then add ginger and kombu. Let steep for about 40 minutes at room temperature, then strain and discard solids. Transfer liquid to a lidded container(s). Cover and chill until gelatinous, at least 3 to 4 hours.
- When broth is chilled, a thick layer of fat will form on top; use a spoon to skim it off. Reserve fat in an airtight glass container for use in shoyu ramen. The chintan broth will last a week in the refrigerator or 2 months in the freezer. Fat will keep for a month in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.
- Add just enough water to cover chicken—the ideal ratio is about 2:1 water to bones. Set to high pressure for 90 minutes, then allow pressure to release naturally.
- While broth is cooking, prepare a large bowl to chill the broth in. Once all pressure has released, taste broth. It should taste of chicken first, not water. (If your stock tastes like water first, strain bones out, return stock to pot, and set cooker to sauté. Reduce broth for an additional 20 minutes—but don’t let it cook longer or it will lose its clarity and the color will become less vibrant.)
- Strain broth into bowl, then add ginger and kombu. Let steep for about 40 minutes at room temperature, then strain and discard solids. Transfer liquid to a lidded container(s). Cover and chill until gelatinous, at least 3 to 4 hours.
- When broth is chilled, a thick layer of fat will form on top; use a spoon to skim it off. Reserve fat in an airtight glass container for use in shoyu ramen. Chintan broth will last a week in refrigerator or 2 months in freezer. Fat will keep for a month in refrigerator or 3 months in freezer.
Use chintan in shoyu ramen and cauliflower tantanmen.
From Otaku for Ramen.
- Recipe from Sarah Gavigan, Otaku Ramen, Nashville