Chicken sotanghon soup is serious comfort food for Marketman. I have fond memories of this dish back to my single digits. I am sure everyone has their version and I never ever thought to ask how this was cooked in our home many years ago but I have evolved a simple recipe that has to be just as good as the versions I had as a child. There is something utterly universal about the soothing qualities of hot chicken broth/soupâ€¦if I recall correctly someone even did a scientific study a few years back to try and determine what aspects of chicken broth made us feel better when we were sick, down or just out. I never did see the detailed results but I believe chicken broth IS good for you. To make this soup, I wait for a day when I have some down time and make my broth from scratch, with the intention of using the boiled chickens for several different dishesâ€¦
First make the chicken broth. Take a large soup stock pan and place two large chickens in it. Cover with water. Add chopped onions, celery, carrots, bay leaves, peppercorns and some parsley if you have it. Boil it gently for about an hour and remove the chickens. Remove the meat from the chickens and return the bones and skin to the broth. Set meat aside for now. Add some more chicken parts or bones if you have them and boil the broth down some more. Sometimes, this broth will lack flavor, either due to boring white chickens raised on feed or failure to boil it long enough. In a rush, some cheat and add a cube or two of knorr chicken concentrate. I generally frown on this but have occasionally done it myself so donâ€™t fret if you resort to this trick. When the broth is all nice and flavorful, strain it.
In a large pot, sautÃ© as much chopped garlic as you like in vegetable oil, add some sliced shallots or onions, patis then the broth. Add the shredded chicken to the pot. Add some julienned carrots, sliced mushrooms and the sotanghon noodles then some sliced cabbage and season with salt and pepper. Add some chopped green onion just before serving. You must place some patis (fish sauce) and kalamansi (calamondin) out on the table as well. When I get a little fancy I serve this with fried garlic and shallot chips on top. Itâ€™s also important that you use good quality sotanghon and I never pre-soak it in water so it gets all of the flavor from the broth. I like my soup more soupy than others and the photos here need a few more ladles of soup to get it to the Marketman consistency… I just removed some of the soup so the contents would be clearer in the photo. I actually like to boil several chickens at once because I use the shredded chicken for chicken sandwiches, salads, etc. I know that my broth is more like the base of a western chicken noodle soup and I do use it with thin egg noodles, chopped carrots, onions and celery to make that equally delicious comfort food.