So I pulled out another old stand by. I am a huge fan of congee when I am sick, but the kids don't like the porridge consistency, so my other old stand by is chicken and sweetcorn soup. It goes down a sore throat nice and easy, and contains enough nourishment to sustain the sickest of kids. And it just tastes bloody good, too!
(I know this looks a little like something you'd find INSIDE a used tissue, but a close-up of the end texture is important!)
pg's Asian Penicillin.
soak 3 ears of corn (leaving on the husks) in cold water for 30 minutes. Remove a couple of the outer husks and set aside. Peel the rest of the husks back and remove the silks. Re-wrap the corn in the husks and use the discarded ones to tie a knot in the top of the husks. Roast, steam or grill for 30 mins until cooked.
Remove the corn kernels.
Roast a whole chook. Don't get too fancy.. it's ending up in soup. I just stuff the cavity with a couple of orange halves to impart a flavour and keep it moist. Set aside until cool enough to touch. Remove all the meat and skin from the carcass. Roughly chop meat and skin.
Into a large pot place 2-3 litres of water. Dice an onion or leek and place into the water, along with a good knob of ginger, a star anise some Chinese cooking wine (or dry sherry), a couple of Schezhuan peppercorns, the chicken and the sweetcorn. Add a goodly slurp of light soy.
Simmer for about 2 hours, or until the chicken flesh breaks down into individual fibres.
Remove the knob of ginger and the star anise.
Make an egg flower by mixing 3 eggs in a bowl with a splash of light soy and a couple of drops of sesame oil. Turn the soup off the heat, give it a swirl and slowly dribble the egg mix in.
(another trick is to add a can of creamed sweet corn at this point, which further thickens the soup)
Serve with soft bread sticks, or slurpy noodles, and you've got the cure-all for the lurgy.