- 2 large onions
- 1 leek
- a thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 1 bulb fennel
- 1 bulb garlic
- 4 T coconut oil
- 4 cobs sweetcorn
- 3–4 fresh curry leaves
- 2 lime leaves
- 1 t whole black peppercorns
- 1 x 1.7 kg free-range chicken
- 5 T soya sauce
- 2 x 400 ml cans coconut cream
- 2 red chillies, chopped
- 2 limes, juiced
- 3 sprigs fresh basil
- 1 large bunch fresh coriander, chopped, for serving
- 2 T sesame seeds, toasted
Peel and finely chop the onions, leek, ginger, lemongrass, fennel and garlic. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan and gently fry until translucent and slightly golden.
Shave the corn kernels off the cobs using a sharp knife, add to the pan and toast until browned, then add the curry leaves, lime leaves and peppercorns.
Place the chicken in the pan, add the soya sauce and top up with water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 50 minutes, or until the juices run clear when poked with a knife. Remove the chicken, cover with foil and rest.
Reduce the liquid for 30 minutes over a low heat. Add the coconut cream, chillies and lime juice, then reduce over a medium-high heat.
Pull the meat off the chicken and add to the broth. Don’t forget to pour in all the resting juices that came off the chicken!
Chop the basil and stir through the broth, then top with the coriander and sesame seeds to serve.
Cook's note: I came up with this recipe when I discovered a corn-fed, free-range chicken at a farmer’s market. My first idea was to roast it, but as my wife and I were sick with flu, I decided to make a soup using all my favourite medicinal Asian spices. The flavours are balanced, and it’s really fresh and light.