Spicy Thai Lime-Ginger Soup

From the overstuffed drawer of things that looked amazing at one time but I never actually got around to…

Ingredients:
1 whole chicken (3-3 1/2 #), rinsed, neck and innards removed
1 6″ pc fresh ginger, unpeeled, cut into 1″ segments
1 onion, unpeeled, cut into quarters
3 carrots, unpeeled, cut into thirds
3 stalks celery, cut in half
1 stalk lemongrass, leaves trimmed and base smashed
4 kaffir lime leaves
1 sm serrano or bird chili
2 limes, halved
1 bunch cilantro stems (leaves reserved for garnish)
2 T salt, plus more to taste

Garnishes:
Reserved cilantro leaves
1/2 c. finely diced red onion
2 small chilies, thinly sliced crosswise
2 limes, cut into small wedges
1 c. bean sprouts

Instructions:

1. Place chicken in a large pot; cover  with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce to a simmer. Add ginger and cook about 1 hr. Add remaining ingredients except salt; cook 3 more hours.

2. Remove broth from heat; let cool slightly. Set a fine-meshed strainer over a large bowl; pour broth through a strainer and discard all solids except the chicken. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin. Using a fork, shred meat (watch out for stray bones). Season to taste with salt and arrange on a platter along with garnishes.

3. Reheat broth; season to taste with salt (this may take more than 2 T).

Have guests take some of the chicken and each of the garnishes to taste.

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