Chicken, Coconut and Galangal Soup

DTOM KHAA GAI — This is an absolutely delicious soup – – a lemongrass infused chicken stock, enriched with coconut milk.  I plan to make this through this winter.  The galangal is important to the recipe – it gives the soup its unique flavor.

Serves 4 by the cup, or 2 as a larger portion

2 stalks of lemongrass, trimmed (use just the tender inside portion)
3 shallots, skins removed
2 stems of coriander (just the stems, no leaves)
2 bird chilies, stems and seeds removed
10 galangal coins, peeled
3 kaffir leaves, shredded (torn by hand is best)
2 c. chicken stock
1 c. of coconut milk
1 c. of coconut cream
1 t. of palm sugar (this is an amazing ingredient – – it’s in paste form – – much more delicious than sugar or brown sugar.  A good brand is Douong Thot Not.   However, you can use brown sugar as a substitute).
3 oz. of oyster, chanterelle, or other mushrooms
3 oz. of boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced against the grain thinly
1 T. of lime juice
2 to 3 T. of fish sauce
cilantro leaves to garnish

1. Combine the lemongrass, shallots, coriander stems, chilies, galangal, and kaffir leaves in a mortar and pestle or food processor, and grind the mixture to a find paste.
2. In a medium saucepot, combine the chicken stock, coconut milk and coconut cream and bring to a boil and then down to a low simmer.  Add the aromatic paste and palm sugar to the coconut broth.  Continue to cook until the oil separates out and the soup is lightly thickened.
3. Add the chicken breast, lime juice and 2 T. of fish sauce.  Simmer until the chicken and mushrooms are cooked.  Adjust the seasoning with fish sauce and serve with cilantro leaves

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