Coconut Chicken Soup
3 drumsticks or your favorite chicken parts
3 pitted red dates
3 Chinese mushrooms (pre-soak to soften and remove stem)
Few ginger slices
1 tbsp wolfberries
Pinch of salt
1. Cut away any visible fats from the chicken parts, I kept the skin intact. Blanch chicken parts in a pot of boiling water with ginger slices and pinch of salt. Blanching purges aggregated proteins, residual blood, surface bacteria and other impurities before you cook it. Discard the water and ginger.
2. Use a chopper to chop open the top of coconut. Pour the coconut water into a jug and set aside. Scrap some coconut flesh using a metal spoon and set aside. The toughest job in this recipe is to chop open the coconut, I am not good at that so I left it to the man in the house to execute the task. I have provided some links on how to chop open the coconut at the bottom of the page, if you are keen to try ;)
3. Place chicken parts, 1 red date, 1 mushroom and some coconut flesh into each coconut. Use a sieve to pour in coconut water until 2/3 full and top with 1/3 plain water till the brim.
4. Cover the coconut with the cap and steam for 1.5-2 hours. I wrapped the base of the coconut with aluminum foil as my steamer is quite shallow preventing water seepage.
5. Half hour before serving add in wolfberries and pinch of salt (really little bit of salt only).
The above is the most straight forward method. Now if you prefer something more complex to play with, refer to the alternative method:
You may realize that you have a lot more coconut water than what is required. You can either enjoy the cooling coconut water on its own or cook everything in a pot instead.
So for step 3 (above) instead of putting the ingredients inside each coconut to steam, use a pot to cook all ingredients. Coconut water vs plain water ratio is the same, 2/3 coconut water vs 1/3 plain water. After boiled, simmer for 1.5hours in pot. From here you could serve your coconut chicken soup, it has more chicken taste as compared to steaming inside the coconut. At this junction, the soup is already very flavorful. But if you are as curious as me trying to see the difference between cooking in a pot and steaming in the coconut, you could scoop the ingredients and soup into the coconut to steam for 1/2hr before serving. The coconut fragrance really make the difference ;)
Online links on how to chop open a coconut