There’s nothing quite so problem-solving as a chicken carcass in the fridge. Especially if it was spatchcocked, meaning the back is still raw and thus able to add extra collagen and unctch to the resulting stock. A few carrots (still those I dug before the freeze, though almost depleted), a piece of parsnip, half an onion, a dried shiitake, and some herbs made for a good base. I tossed in smashed garlic and ginger with about 30 minutes to go, and soaked some bean thread noodles.
While this had its rendezvous with destiny, I sautéed some king oyster and maitake mushrooms (first the one, then the other, later) with lardo and garlic until well-inflected with mahogany, and then added scallion, ponzu, white wine and some of the stock to reduce and sap the last resistance from the oyster stems. I removed them to a bowl and besprinkled of the minced cilantro.
In the selfsame pan went a chiffonade of black kale, with more stock to finish. I simmered the noodles for a minute, then ladled them into bowls. Topped with stock, our own kimchi, kale, then fanned slices of our new duck prosciutto, it began to resemble good food. A glug of shoyu and a dollop of homemade sambal oelek for extra bass and treble helped it along. (These two added after the picture).
First of all, these mushrooms. The umamitude was off the freaking charts; they had all the pupil-dilating, glutamatious whallop of a bag of BBQ-flavored potato chips. Impossible to stop wolfing. The cured, salty duck against the tangy, salty kimchi and heavily redolent sambal, with a chickeny-noodley foundation? Very nice. The crunch, and slurp, and chew, and heat, and tang, and depth, and bright garnishes. Handsome indeed, and more fetching still against the diaphanous yellow backdrop of a 2004 Bernhard Eifel Schweicher Annaberg Riesling “Alte Reben Vom Roten Schiefen.” (Which means “You can see Poland from my house!”)
It was kind of a lovely, snowy day today, after four days of beautiful, cold sunshine; winter is not without its beauty and soups like this do their part to make it even better. Having said that, I’m counting the days until it’s over.