Cooking a Whole BLACK Silkie CHICKEN in a PUMPKIN – Chinese herbal soup

Hello, my beautiful lovelies! Hi, it’s Emmy! Welcome back! Today, I’m going to show you how to cook a black silkie chicken inside of a pumpkin. So, a black silkie chicken is something that I’ve wanted to cook for a long time, and it’s a particular breed of chicken– it’s actually quite petit– and it has spectacular plumage. It’s really soft, hence the name “silkie,” fluffy, and just kind of silly-looking. But, what’s really interesting is when you remove all of that plumage, the skin of the chicken is actually black, or, kind of purple-ish, charcoal-ish, but very, very dark. And this is called fibromelanosis. So, in Chinese medicine and cookery, it’s believed that the black silkie chicken is more nutritious than a regular chicken because of all this pigmentation. At any rate, I went to my local Chinese market, and I picked up a frozen black silkie chicken, and I’m going to be cooking it today with traditional herbs. Growing up, my mom would actually make this chicken soup for us, usually in the winter time, but never inside of a pumpkin, that’s my own kind of spin on it. I thought, “why not use a pumpkin as a cooking vessel, since I used a watermelon to cook a chicken, why not a pumpkin?” If you missed that video, I’ll put that link up there. So, another thing you’ll notice is this chicken is completely intact. It has its head, and it has its feet, and in Chinese symbolism, this represents completeness, so it’s not uncommon, actually to find birds that have their whole heads, and their feet on there as well. If you’re at all squeamish, you might want to stop here, but I actually appreciate seeing the entire bird. It’s a good reminder that this was a living thing, and, yeah. To give thanks. So, here is the cooked pumpkin with my chicken inside, and let me take you through the steps of how I got to this stage. Okay! The first thing you wanna do is get yourself a black silkie chicken. Mine was frozen, so I allowed mine to thaw completely, and then I removed it from its bag. Next, we’re gonna parboil the chicken and some lean pork. This step creates a very clear chicken broth. And, just leave it in there for a couple of minutes. Then remove it, and then throw out that water. Next, we’re gonna prepare our pumpkin. I got myself a very handsome jack-o’-lantern pumpkin, you can use an eating pumpkin if you’d like, but, I’m not planning on eating the pumpkin, I’m just using it as a vessel to cook the chicken in, so I went for aesthetics, but you can certainly get a cinderella pumpkin, or a blue hubbard, or some kind of good eating squash. Next, we’re gonna hollow out our pumpkin. I used a serated bread knife, and created a large lid. You wanna make sure your opening is large enough to accommodate your bird. Next, we’re going to scoop out all of the seeds, you can use a large spoon, or, in this case, I used the top of a canning jar. Scoop all the seeds out, you don’t have to worry about being too tidy. I got this herbal Chinese mix. It came with a little bag, and I placed all of those in there, and that way, it will make it really easy to remove when we’re done cooking. So place the herb sachet in the pumpkin along with the 2 pieces of pork. And then, I’m adding some mushrooms as well. These are shitake mushrooms which I’ve re-hydrated in some hot water. Next, we’re gonna fold up our chicken and fit it inside our pumpkin. Pour the water that you soaked your mushrooms in into the pumpkin, Along with 1 to 3 cups (230-700 ml) of water, depending on how large your pumpkin is, and a couple tablespoons of shaoxing wine. Then we’re gonna add a few slices of fresh ginger. Make sure you place the pumpkin in some sort of oven-safe casserole dish, I just used my dutch oven. So, we’re gonna lightly oil the outside of the pumpkin. And then use some foil to cover the stem of the pumpkin so it won’t burn. And then we’re going to place it in a 325°F (162°C) oven for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Alright! Let’s give this a crack. Okay, let’s take this lid off. (whispering) Oh my gosh, look at that. That’s so beautiful! And it’s steamin’ hot. I think I’m gonna try to get the bird out to see how much broth is in there. Excellent. I’m gonna take the sachet out. That’s done its job. And it smells amazing. I smell the shitake mushroom, and all of those herbs. It has a very distinctive smell to it. It’s the astragulus, I think, that’s really aromatic. And it smells medicinal, and earthy, and lovely, and very nostalgic. And those are the goji berries. Here are the mushrooms. There’s the ginger. And as you can see, there’s not a lot of broth in there. It’s very very concentrated. So the pigmentation is not limited to just the skin, it actually occurs also in the bones, and in the flesh of the meat, as well. Another interesting genetic mutation about black silkie chickens is that they are polydactyl, so they’ll have an extra digit. Most chickens have four, and this one has five. So, another thing about this chicken, as well, is it’s much leaner than a typical chicken, as well. Lovely! Alright! And there you have it. A beautiful bowl of black silkie chicken soup. Alright, I can’t wait to taste this! Alright, so here’s the broth. Alright. Itadakimasu. Mmmm… That’s good. It’s soooo rich. Mm! A really concentrated chicken broth. Sweet and full of chicken flavor with lots of shitake flavor in there, as well. It’s woodsy and earthy. And also what’s in there, of course, are the flavor of the herbs. The astragalus, the sweetness from the goji berries, all of it is in here, and it is fantastic! Love it! So, while this contains lots of tonic herbs, this still remains a food. Is it warm, it’s nutritious, it’s comforting, and, most importantly to me, it tastes delicious. It doesn’t finish bitter, it’s sweet, and full of chicken flavor. Wonderful. Let’s taste the chicken, as well. Mm! In terms of flavor, it tastes just like a regular chicken, but in terms of texture, it’s a little bit different. It’s not as juicy and succulent as a store-bought chicken, it’s definitely leaner. Let me taste a little bit of the pumpkin, as well. Mm! It doesn’t really taste like much, at all. It is a little bit ginger-y, it’s kind of mushy in texture, and not that flavorful. So there you have it! Black silkie chicken cooked with traditional Chinese herbs. Alright! Thank you guys so much for joining me! I hope you guys enjoyed that one. I hope you guys learned something. Please share this video with your friends, follow me on social media, and I shall see you in my next video. Toodaloo! Take care! Bye! I got… chicken lip gloss.

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