What do Irish, Jewish and Chinese have in common? The answer, a great cook book. Although this seems to be long out of print, the All-American Chinese Cookbook is a great addition to your library, if you can find one. This recipe is a variation of the one found there. The ingredients below make up roughly a double batch according to the original recipe. And what about the little nationality quiz? The authors are Lucy Chee McHale and Joyce Goldberg.
Marinate the chicken.
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 chicken breast pieces (see notes), thawed
Mix the soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger and sugar together in a bowl. Slice the chicken breast into thin, about 1/2 inch, slices the long way. Then cut those long slices into about 1/2 inch pieces. Mix the cut up chicken in the marinade. Let sit while you prepare the rest, 20 – 30 minutes.
Make the soup.
1 bunch fresh spinach
2 – 14 ounce cans chicken broth
2 – 14 ounce cans water
2 eggs, beaten
1 bunch finely chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Wash the spinach. Although most present day spinach gets a pretty good washing at the plant, there may still be some sand mixed in with the spinach. So rinse the spinach off in a colander under cold water. Break off the stems and discard. Take the remaining spinach leaves and cut into about 1 inch square pieces.
Wash and then cut the green onions into appropriate sized pieces. On the white end of the onion, do a very fine-cut. As you move up to the leaf end of the onion, increase the size of the cut pieces. Cut off and discard any wilted pieces of leaf, especially if the onions have sat in your refrigerator for a few days.
Break open and beat the eggs in a small bowl.
That’s it for the work.
With high heat bring the chicken broth, water, salt and pepper to a full boil in a 4 quart pot. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Stir for a few minutes and wait until the soup comes to a full boil again. The chicken will cook quickly. When it turns white you’ll know it worked. Quickly add the spinach leaves. Stir until the soup comes to a full boil again. Don’t over cook the spinach. This only takes another couple of minutes. While stirring the soup, slowly pour in the beaten eggs. Slow, but not really slow. Add the green onions and stir. Remove from the heat right now. Yep, that’s it for cooking.
What’s a chicken breast? Is a chicken breast both the left and right side of the chicken’s breast? Or is it, just one side of the chicken’s breast? Once you figure this out, ask yourself, what’s a whole chicken breast? Whatever the answer you come up with, here it is the right or left side of the chicken’s breast. Or more simply, for this recipe, two of those chunks of chicken you take out of those bags of frozen skinless boneless chicken breasts.
If you like sesame oil, stir in about 1/4 teaspoon right after adding the green onions.
Two cans of chicken broth made the soup a little too chickeny for me. That would be the Jewish side of recipe coming out (remember the authors above?). You might try using 1 can of chicken broth and 3 cans of water. Or, the original recipe uses, not chicken broth but about 5 chicken bouillon cubes with two quarts of water. You might ask at this point, aren’t these recipes written down anywhere? The answer would be, it doesn’t matter. I always seem to do something a little different each time.
The reason why the picture above looks fuzzy is because of the steam rising up from the bowl.
Helpful hint. Take the pictures after the dish cools a bit.