This is a one-of a kind traditional Korean soup. It originated in royal and upper-class kitchens. In recent years, as ginseng has become more widely available, many restaurants have begun serving it under the name “samgyetang.” Revered as medicinal soup, there are many specialty houses where it is the sole item on the menu. Traditionally, each whole spring chicken is boiled in its own clay pot, then is served, boiling hot, directly from the hissing flames to the table.
Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup (Samgyetang)
By Hisoo Shin Hepinstall, Growing up in a Korean Kitchen: A Cookbook
1 ( 1½ pound) young spring whole chicken (skin removed)
or Cornish game hen
1/3 cup cooked glutinous sweet rice
2 fresh chestnuts, shelled, skinned and halved
5 pitted jujubes (Korean dates)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and slivered
2 whole 3 year old fresh ginseng roots
6 cups clear chicken stock
2 green onions, sliced into thin rings for garnish
1. Wash the chicken in cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Form the rice into a ball and stuff it inside the cavity of the chicken. Add the chestnuts, jujubes, garlic, and ginseng roots to the cavity. Sew up the chicken with kitchen thread.
2.Place the chicken in a stockpot and add the stock. Bring it to a boil, decrease the heat to low and simmer for 1½ hours. Serve immediately with dishes of salt, freshly ground black pepper, hot red pepper powder and green onion rings. Allow each guest to adjust the seasoning.