1 2 1/2-3 lb. whole chicken (or you can substitute with bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs)
1/4 - 1/2 cup of Chinese rice wine (Michiu)
8-10 dried Shiitake mushrooms
1-2 tsp. salt, or to taste
*NOTE: Cubed daikon radish also works well in this soup (add about 20-30 minutes before the end of cooking). For noodle soup, you can also add a bit of cellophane noodles, again towards the end of cooking time.
1. Bring a medium stock pot full of water to a boil (pot should be large enough to hold the chicken). Carefully place the chicken into the boiling water and blanch for 3-5 minutes. This effectively "cleans" the chicken, as some of the blood will cook and surface to the top of the water as a whitish scum (sounds nasty, but this happens when you boil any kind of meat in a liquid).
2. Pour off the water from the stock pot and fill with fresh water (enough to just cover the chicken). Turn up heat to high and bring the water back up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 1 hour. During this time, periodically check the stock and continue skimming off any skum or excess oil that floats the top.
3. After one hour, add the rice wine, salt and dried shiitake mushrooms. Cover and continue cooking on simmer for another hour.
4. Remove chicken to a cutting board and when cool enough to handle, remove the skin, and then tear off meat in large bite-sized pieces from the bones. Return chicken meat to the soup stock and simmer, covered another 10 minutes. If you're using drumsticks or chicken thighs instead of whole chicken, you can omit this step.