I know every reader wants to see boiling chicken. There's nothing quite like the sight of pale, raw, somewhat...flaccid chicken thighs to whet the appetite. The green thing on the edge is a broccoli stalk I thought I would try giving to my dog, but he certainly wasn't having it. Most people boil chicken to shred for use in other recipes (enchiladas, salad, soup, etc.) but done properly, as in the case of Hainanese chicken and rice, good quality boiled chicken can be exceptionally tasty.
Softening the onions and garlic in butter. If you loooove garlic like me, you might like throwing in whole smashed cloves of garlic in your soup. It doesn't take long for them to infuse the soup with a permeating, softly garlic flavor and the cloves themselves are mild, not pungent, addictive little bites. I used one entire small head of garlic in this soup.
Caramelized brown bits ready for deglazing. I used the broth from the boiled chicken but would have preferred Marsala or sherry.
Foamy, tempered egg yolks. Separate 4 eggs and slowly pour in hot (not boiling) broth into the cup or bowl with the yolks while vigorously whisking. You can save the whites to scramble or mix it with water, green onions, and a dash of soy, then zap it in the microwave for a poor man's chawanmushi (Chinese steamed eggs). I just nuked them with a little water and gave it to my dog.
I add white pepper and turmeric powder in almost every chicken soup. Turmeric is the secret to the gold color of classic chicken soups.
Before & After DO NOT let the liquid boil after you add the tempered egg or you risk having scrambled eggs in your soup. Keep it at a low simmer. After pouring in the egg yolks, I added in the spinach and the juice of 1large lime. This egg/citrus mixture is reminiscent of one of my other favorite soups, Greek avgolemono.