New Mom wants Black Chicken Stew...
A friend just gave birth and has requested Black Chicken Stew...Apparently, it is good for new moms. Any suggestions on where I could purchase some stew or does someone have a good recipe?
Asians believed that soup and stew made from black chicken with herbs have medicinal benefits. See the web sites below.
“The Wisdom Of The Chinese Kitchen” by Grace Young has a simple recipe for “Double-Steamed Black Chicken Soup on Page 235. It only uses two herbs – wolfberries (gay gee) and Chinese yam/dioscorea (wai sahn). The black chicken and the two herbs are easily found in Asian markets.
Altenatively, you can go into a Chinese herb store and ask for herbs and recipe to make black chicken soup/stew. This procedure will probably end up being more complex and expensive. The herbalist is likely to recommend more exotic and expensive herbs such as ginseng, dong gwei (angelica) and others.
Other remedies for a new mother to build strength and blood that does not require a black chicken are a chicken wine/whiskey soup (gai jow) and sweet and sour pig’s feet (tim suen gee guerck). The recipes for these can be commonly found in Chinese cook books.
Cantonese/Chinese school of new mom recovery is a little different than the the Taiwanese school of Chinese medicine/cooking for new mom's during their crucial "sitting month" (first 30 days after giving birth) period or "dzuo yuer dze" phonetically speaking.
Somewhere in Milpitas, and now recently Mountain View have "sitting month" consultation centers, and they also cook and prepare specialized sitting month food for new moms. These centers are very popular in Taiwan and there are more of these in LA, but only just recently started cropping up in the South Bay. I don't know if you will find black chicken stew there, depends on their menu, but it might be worth while to give those places a call if they are not too far from your friend. Sorry I don't have the address, but if you pick up the Sunday edition of Sing Tao or even World Journal (if you can read Chinese). You will find their addresses.
There is a Chinese medicine shop in Milpitas Square (near Sheng Kee and Golden Island side) that sells bottles of rice wine distilled water especially for sitting month moms. Can be used for cooking or just plain drinking. The brand is not well known but you might be better off mail ordering them from LA via wine4us dot com (the same brand that makes the famous Taiwan rice wine). The website also has receipes for various sitting month foods, including use of rice wine.
If you are in SF and if the South Bay centers are too far our of reach, check the various Chinatown bookstores like Ng Hing Kee or Louie Brothers, I'm sure there are some Hong Kong, Chinese, or Taiwanese/Chinese books (perhaps even with English) that have receipes. Your best bet is to find receipe books that specialize in sitting month/recovery. Note that not necessarily all materials/ingredients are available locally but most should (considering the books will not be written here but in Asia).
For the freshest black chicken, Yimster told me almost a year ago there's a place on Grant near Columbus that sells live chickens, and they do have black chicken. De-feathered and prepared to order. Cruel I know, but you can't get it any fresher than that.
For boosting milk production, a good Taiwanese receipe would be believe it or not, pig feet (use front feet) and peanuts (the cooking kind from Chinese supermarkets with skin removed).
re: Melanie Wong
I have no experience with them, but have done some research in general.
OK I dug up last Sunday's Sing Tao free circulation (a freebie at most Marina and Ranch 99 markets) that just so happens has an ad for the Milpitas Sitting Month Center which are actually one and the same, not two as I had thought.
No known english name, but called Guang Hwo in Chinese. Supposedly a branch of the one from Taiwan (all Chinese website www.cowa-mother-care.com.tw with nothing that seems obvious to link to the Milpitas store). The ad promotes an instore 9/30 Saturday 10 am seminar about recovering and caring for the newborn, with a FREE tasting menu of their sitting month offerings (they even deliver the specially prepared food to the sitting month moms who are yes, supposed to STAY HOME and not roam around outside, sip lattes with their cel phones and WIFI connections, or drive SUVs with the baby on their lap).
Address: 272 Barber Ct, Milpitas, CA. Two #s (408)-931-3618, and (408)-434-6688. Have a Mandarin speaker handy just in case.
I'm guessing the MV center is on Castro, but I could be wrong. If I learn of other centers elsewhere I'll post.
One very famous old school receipe for Taiwanese sitting month is sesame oil chicken (mah yoh ji). Receipe pretty much calls for a whole chicken (dunno if black works for this), a special kind of sesame oil (if imported from Taiwan of a particular type, the better), and lots and lots and lots of rice wine (taiwan mi joh) which the most well known brand via wine4us.com and available for a measly $5 when on sale a bottle at your local Ranch 99, or Marina supermarket. Of course too much of this will bore your appetite, but that's what most Taiwanese mom's ate in the previous generation. Nowadays there's more variety...