Classic Chinese Chicken Soup with Tonic Herbs (Astragalus, Codonopsis, Yam, Jujube)

Because of all the wonderful herbs added, this delicious soup is a qi tonic and blood tonic that can restore the body’s resources. It has a good effect on brightening the eyes and slowing down the aging process. This recipe uses a ‘black chicken’ or ‘silkie’, which is considered very nourishing for the blood and essence and is available at specialty Asian┬ámarkets. Locally, you can easily find it at Ranch 99 in El Cerrito or Concord, CA. You can also use a regular, organic chicken.

The herbs are available at various herb shops. Be sure to buy organic herbs. (Available at AIMC Herbal Clinic or SpringWind Herbs, in Berkeley, CA) Sulfur-free herbs are also best to avoid a sour flavor. This should not be eaten when suffering from a cold or flu.

3 oz Astragalus root (huang qi)

5 oz Codonopsis root (dang shen)

3 oz Dioscorea root (shan yao) 5 oz Lycium fruit (gou qi zi)

5 oz Longan fruit (long yan rou) 1 oz Jujube Dates (hong zao)

1 tsp salt

1 lb whole black (or regular) chicken

Clean the chicken and remove skin and fat (especially when using the black chicken since it is similar to duck and can make the soup very greasy). Rinse all herbs (we often have these herbs at the clinic, if you cannot get to Chinatown) and put them and chicken in a large pot. Cover with water. Cook on high heat for one hour, then on medium for two hours. Serve warm. Makes 3-4 servings.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. This soup would be a perfect accompaniment to autumn leaves as they begin to fall.

    Comment by Diana Rogers — April 7, 2013 @ 10:17 am

  2. Does anyone know where I can get black chicken? I’m really interested in trying it, but I couldn’t find it at 99 Ranch. Any easy bay suggestions?

    Comment by Suzie L — April 14, 2013 @ 2:39 pm

  3. Wow! I am actually beginning to recognize these ingredients! This soup sound outrageous!

    Comment by Jodi Host — October 29, 2013 @ 10:42 pm

  4. Im impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a weblog thats each educative and entertaining, and let me inform you, you will have hit the nail on the head. Your concept is excellent;

    Comment by Derek Randle — January 11, 2016 @ 7:27 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment