For this batch of Samgyetang, we cooked in a small traditional Korean clay pot (in fact, I think my clay pots is a size too small.. =P) . If you do not have the claypot, a regular small pot will work just fine. We used Mangchi's recipe this time. On out previous attempts, we used some fresh chestnuts but didn't think that those make too much of a difference in the taste of the soup. Here's the recipe by Mangchi with just a bit of tweaking in the amount of certain ingredients used. Check out her site for an excellent video on the recipe.
SAMGYETANG (KOREAN GINSENG CHICKEN SOUP)
- 1 Cornish Hen
- 1/4 Cup Korean Sweet Rice
- 6-8 Cloves of Garlic
- 6 Jujubes / Dried (Chinese) Red Dates
- 2 Small Ginseng Root
- 1 Stalk Green Onion, Chopped
- 1-2 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- Equal parts of salt and grounded white pepper (for dipping)
Soak the sweet rice in water for about 1 hour. Place 1-2 tbsp of kosher salt on the cornish hen and rub the outer skin for a couple seconds, then rinse the salt off with cold running water. Stuff the cornish hen, by placing half of the jujubes, garlic and ginseng first. Then all of the soaked sweet rice. Continue with the remaining ginseng, jujubes and garlic. You can use a toothpick to partially close the cavity so that the stuffing remain inside.
Place the stuff chicken in a pot. If you cannot fit all the jujube, garlic, ginseng in the chicken, you can place it in the pot later. Pour just enough water into the pot to cover the cornish hen, cover the pot and let it boil for 20 minutes over high heat. When it starts boiling, skim off the white foam and fat that rises to the top. Pour in more water if needed to ensure that the cornish hen is slightly submerged in water. Boil for 40 minutes over medium heat. Once it's cooked properly, the cornish hen can be easily pulled apart with chopsticks.
Serve with the salt and pepper dipping condiment.
June's Notes: If you don't like the traditional salt and pepper condiment for dipping, feel free to use some soy sauce. As the pot I used was a little too small for the cornish hen, I needed to flip the chicken every now and then to let it cook properly. This soup does not need additional seasoning; the garlic, and the sweetness from the jujube, chicken and rice flavors the broth perfectly. But if you like sodium in your broth, a little dash of salt would be ok.