Burmese chicken coconut soup

4-½ cups Basic Chicken Stock, divided (recipe this page)

2 cups cubed or shredded chicken

1 large onion, halved

2 teaspoons minced ginger

4 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons corn or peanut oil

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

¼ teaspoon ground turmeric

About ½ to ¾ kosher salt

1 cup coconut milk, regular or low-fat

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, divided

Noodles:

2 cups lo-mein-type noodles, cooked according to package directions and drained (see Kitchen Note *)

Accompaniments:

Crispy fried noodles (see Kitchen Note **)

Lime or lemon wedges

4 green onions, thinly sliced

2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1. Prepare Basic Chicken Stock. Reserve 4-½ cups stock and 2 cups cubed or shredded chicken for the soup. Have fried noodles ready for the accompaniments.

2. Coarsely chop one of the onion halves; slice the other half thinly and set aside. Put the chopped onion, ginger, garlic and ½ cup stock into a blender or food processor; blend until smooth. Put the flour into a bowl. Very slowly whisk in 1 cup broth, mixing thoroughly. Set aside.

3. Pour oil into a medium pan and set over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add sliced onions and fry, stirring, until they begin to turn brown at the edges, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add cayenne, paprika, turmeric and salt, stirring once. Add remaining 3 cups broth and onion-ginger purée. Pour the flour mixture through a strainer into the pot. Add 1 tablespoon cilantro. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer gently, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Add some of the hot soup to the coconut milk, then pour it back into the soup. Stir in cooked chicken along with the cooked noodles and simmer very gently on low heat 5 minutes. Watch carefully; if the coconut milk becomes too hot it will curdle. Stir in remaining cilantro.

4. Serve soup with accompaniments on the side.

Times Kitchen Notes:

* Besides the lo-mein noodles, Madhur Jaffrey also suggests using rice stick noodles, angel hair, capellini or spaghettini, cooked according to package directions. We used precooked packaged yakisoba noodles.

** To prepare crispy fried noodles, add about 2 cups precooked yakisoba noodles to the boiling water when cooking 2 cups noodles for the soup. Drain well; spread 2 cups on paper towels for a few minutes to dry. Heat about ½ inch vegetable or peanut oil in a large heavy skillet, such as cast iron, over medium heat. When oil is hot, drop a fourth of the noodles into the oil; fry until crisp. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining noodles, adding more oil as needed.

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