a 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken8 thin slices fresh ginger root 1 bunch spring onions, green parts only, roughly chopped 10 cups water 3/4 cup Chinese rice wine or medium-dry Sherry 2 ounces dried rice-stick noodles (rice vermicelli) 1/2 pound fresh spinach, coarse stems discarded and leaves washed, drained, and chopped coarse (about 4 packed cups) 1/2 to 3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh garlic chives

With a cleaver or heavy chef's knife cut chicken into large pieces. Cut chicken through bones into 2-inch pieces. In a large kettle of boiling water blanch chicken 1 minute. In a colander drain chicken and rinse under cold water.

With flat side of cleaver or knife lightly smash ginger root. In stock pot, bring 10 cups water to a boil with chicken, ginger root, spring onions, rice wine or Sherry and simmer, uncovered, skimming froth occasionally, 2 hours. Pour broth through colander lined with triple thickness of cheesecloth into a large heatproof bowl, reserving chicken for another use. Broth may be made 3 days ahead, cooled completely, uncovered, and chilled, covered.

In a stock pot, bring broth to a boil. Add noodles and boil, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Stir in spinach and simmer, stirring once or twice, until spinach turns bright green and is just tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in chives and salt and pepper to taste and simmer 1 minute.

Adapted from epicurious.com