Chicken & Chestnut Soup

Originally published August 9, 2021 chicken chestnut soup

Here in the West, we often think of roasted chestnuts in the wintertime, but in Chinese cuisine, chestnuts are a common ingredient in many dishes and enjoyed year-round for their creamy texture, nutty sweet taste and therapeutic qualities.

Easily purchased in their dried form, chestnuts are warm, sweet and neutral, entering the. Spleen, Stomach, and Kidney meridians. They are considered in TCM to be “fruit for the kidneys" because they are particularly warming to the lower back, kidneys, and knees. Chestnuts are low in fat, easily digestible, and high in manganese, potassium, vitamin C and B6, and copper.

Huang Qi, being sweet and entering the Lung and Spleen channels, complements the recipe’s Qi tonification properties. Da Zao tonifies the Spleen and Stomach and, along with Sheng Jiang, rounds out the flavor in this delicious soup. This soup is very easy to make, and especially delicious and nutritious for kids!


  • 1/2 young, fresh (Pullet) Chicken
  • 19 g Astragalus membranaceus (Huang qi)
  • 10 Chestnuts / Castanea (Li zi, shelled and skinned)
  • 4 Red dates / Ziziphus jujuba fruit (Da Zao)
  • 1 slice Fresh Ginger / Zingiber officinale (Sheng Jiang)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Remove the skin and organs from the chicken. Wash and quarter.
  2. Rinse chestnuts, Huang qi, and Da zao. (Soak chestnuts in hot water to remove skin if necessary.)
  3. Put all ingredients (except salt) into cooking pot
  4. Add 6 cups/appropriate amount of water to cover ingredients
  5. Bring water to a boil
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours
  7. Remove the Huang qi and Ginger
  8. Add salt to taste and eat the ingredients


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