4 Free Black Chicken Soup Recipes 乌骨鸡汤

black chicken soup

Black chicken soup is considered gentle tonics suitable for the whole family. Here are a few free recipes using different cooking methods.

What is black chicken

Black chickens are also known as silky chicken or silkies. In some parts of the world, they are pets. In my part of the world, they are considered food.

The silky chicken is fairly small compared to a normal chicken. It does not necessarily have black feathers. In fact, its plumage is furrier than feathers and many have snowy white plumage.

4 Free Black Chicken Soup Recipes 乌骨鸡汤
Photo by form PxHere

It is called black chicken because its beak, bones, flesh, skin and even internal organs are black or dark blue in colour. It doesn’t look very appealing because of the dark colour and the meat is fairly dry (in my opinion) but it is valued for its curative effects.

black chicken soup
Photo from Cluck Cluck Black Chickens | Flickr

I remember seeing a cooking show where a chef tried to prepare a silkie by confitting it. Might be a good idea.

Modern scientific research has discovered that the silky chicken’s level of protein, vitamin B, 18 amino acids and minerals are much higher than normal chicken while cholesterol and saturated fats are much lower.

Black Chicken Soup Recipes

Black chicken is almost always prepared in tonics or herbal soups together with Chinese herbs to alleviate certain ailments such as fatigue, osteoporosis, iron deficient anemia, and hair loss. 

Recipe: Silkie chicken soup tonic

This recipe uses 2 popular Chinese herbs which are easy to obtain: goji berries and red dates. Substitute with a small fresh chicken if you can’t find or do not like the silky.


  • 1 black chicken
  • 8 red dates
  • 1 tsp goji berries
  • 500ml water
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash the little black bird and cut into smaller pieces
  2. Parboil the chicken in water for 2 minutes and trim away any excess or visible fats. Parboil means to boil the chicken together with water in a pot for about 10 minutes.
  3. Place the chicken and red dates into a slow cooker.
  4. Pour boiling water into the slow cooker sufficient to cover the ingredients
  5. Using the low setting, gently simmer the ingredients for 25 minutes.
  6. Season with a pinch of salt before serving

Recipe: Hair tonic with he shou wu and ginseng root

This black chicken soup is steamed and is a common soup tonic for both men and women concerned about white hair or thinning hair. 

He shou wu 何首乌 is a Chinese herb that is blackish in color. It should be fairly easy to find in Chinese medicinal halls. They are reputed to keep hair black. Many ladies like to prepare hair soup tonics for their husbands and themselves using he shou wu. The colour of the soup will be quite dark because of this herb.

Ginseng is an all-round tonic. It is popular because almost everyone from a child to an old folk can take it. Whole ginsengs are very expensive. Buy ginseng root as a cheaper alternative. They are just as good, just not as visually impressive. Another good alternative is to use ginseng tea bags. I think these are more readily available and cheaper too. 


  • 1 black chicken
  • 5g ginseng root 人参 or 1 ginseng tea bag
  • 3g he shou wu 何首乌
  • 10 red dates
  • 2 pieces of old ginger
  • Seasonings: 2 tbsp garlic, 2 tsp salt, 5 tbsp sesame seed oil


  1. Wash and clean the chicken
  2. Peel the ginger and garlic
  3. Gently rinse the ginseng root or tea bag, he shou wu, red dates, ginger and garlic
  4. Place the black chicken in a big tureen or bowl and add the Chinese herbs
  5. Add enough room temperature water to cover the ingredients
  6. Seal the tureen or bowl with cling wrap
  7. Place a steaming tripod into a big pot
  8. Add water to the big pot until 3/4 of the tripod is submerged
  9. Bring the pot of water to a boil
  10. Place the tureen onto the tripod. Be careful of the boiling water
  11. Lower to a medium heat and steam the soup for about 2 hours
  12. Remove from heat and add the seasonings before serving

Recipe: Black chicken soup with goji and Chinese yam

This black chicken soup with goji berries and Chinese yam is doubled boiled using a ceramic double boiling jar. If you do not have one, you can use a ceramic tureen with a cover and steam it in a large stock pot or wok. Bring the water in the pot to a boil and lower the heat and simmer.

A classic gentle tonic and so easy to make. This soup is for 1 or 2 persons.


  • 1/4 black chicken
  • 5g chinese yam 淮山
  • 1 tbsp goji berries
  • 6 red dates
  • 1 piece of old ginger
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp rice wine

Directions (for double boiling jar and 1 big wok)

  1. Wash and clean the bird
  2. Place the bird, Chinese yam, goji berries, red dates, ginger and rice wine into a ceramic double boiling jar
  3. Add in enough room temperature water to cover the ingredients inside
  4. Cover the jar and seal with cling wrap
  5. Place in a big pot half submerged in water
  6. Bring the pot to a boil and lower heat to simmer for 1.5 hours
  7. Remove and add salt before serving

I am including a video that uses the same method/instruction although the ingredients used are different. Have a look and see how simple it is to make. English subtitles included.

Recipe: Black chicken soup with cordycep flowers

Cordycep flowers 虫草花 have become quite popular recently. It has nothing to do with cordyceps 冬虫草 except the form.


  • 1 Silkie Chicken 乌鸡
  • Half a cup dried cordyceps flower 虫草花
  • 5g Astragalus Root 黄芪
  • Half a tub of beech mushrooms 蟹味菇
  • 6 Jujube dates 红枣
  • 1 tbsp goji Berries 枸杞
  • 5 slices of Shan Yao 山药 (dried Chinese yam)
  • 1 small section ginger 姜
  • Salt to taste 盐

Watch the video for the method. English subtitles included.

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Happy cooking!

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