Black Chicken Power

Chinese black chicken soup

Well la DEE da, the New York Times is making it hip to eat black chicken. High time, too, since in all objective terms, the black chicken, an wuji in China, a Silkie elsewhere, is the go-to bird. If you can get past the color barrier you’re in for a treat: complex, delicate meat with way more soul than its poor white factory-farmed relatives. Besides, black chicken has nutritive properties the Chinese have sworn by since Lu Dongbing used it for his immortality pills back in the 9th century. Here are a few easy recipes to convince you.

Black Chicken Soup

No doubt you’re wondering where the potatoes and carrots are. This soup is as much medicine as it is sustenance, a must for Chinese women pregnant and post-natal, renowned for restoring yin energy. Call it rejuvenating your kidneys and liver if you don’t believe in such FDA non-sanctioned mumbo jumbo.

Just rub those chicken chunks lightly with salt, then toss the whole shebang in a big pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer for three and a half hours. Voila, over two liters of refined taste sensation, and a tonic even more potent than Mamalah’s kosher version.

Black Chicken Soup, Version 2

Add some papaya and almonds to the first recipe. This will filter toxins from your blood and cleanse the lungs, and add a sweet note that will change what you think goes with chicken.

  • 1 whole black chicken (rinsed, chopped)
  • 1 papaya (peeled, diced)
  • 20 grams of ginseng roots, chopped
  • 40g sweet almonds
  • 2 Chinese dates
  • 5 cups of water

Boil the chicken separately for five minutes this time, then add the other ingredients. After they’re boiling, turn them down to a slow simmer for just two hours. Add salt to taste.

Stir-Fried Black Chicken

Theoretically, black chicken can do anything white can. But it’s a shame to mask its unique flavor with breading or glaze, and black chicken is softer, with less fat.

  • 1 whole black chicken cut into small pieces
  • 2 spoonfuls of light soy sauce
  • 2 spoonfuls of sweet black soy sauce
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • A thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
  • Four tablespoons of light oil

First sauté the ginger until golden brown, then add the chicken and garlic . Once the chicken is changing color, add the soy sauce and stir fry for another eight to ten minutes. Just remember moistness is a virtue, and dryness a sin.

Puer: Don’t stop sipping

While chicken soup is good for what ails you, puer tea, however you spell it (pu-er, pu-erh, etc.) is great for keeping you healthy. It’s an open ancient Chinese secret that a few cups of puer half-an-hour to an hour after a heavy meal will prevent fat absorption, and help speed the bad stuff through the digestive system. This and other manifold properties in puer’s post-fermentation process make it hands down the best tea for weight loss.

-this post by Ernie Diaz first appeared in

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