With the Jewish Holidays so early this year, the dilemma was what I could make and freeze so I could still enjoy the Labor Day Weekend! I could make my chicken soup, well not mine but a recipe that has been one of my favorites for many years. Whenever I make chicken soup, I always make a double batch one for the holiday and one for the freezer after all you never know when you will get a cold or the flu and need chicken soup, after all is called Jewish penicillin!
Everyone will have their favorite way of making soup and their own opinions as well. Should a chicken soup be filled with chicken and vegetables or just a broth? Should you use kosher chickens or fowl? I prefer a good broth and my recipe calls for fowl, then fowl it will be! A good chicken soup needs both time and patience for it takes hours to make! The aromas that fill the house are wonderful.
The supermarkets did not get their fowls in for the holiday just yet since it is a little early but lucky for me Owens in Needham always has fowls!
1 fowl, 5-6 pounds
2 ½ -3 quarts water
1 small or ½ medium-sized parsnip
1 small petrouchka (root of Italian parsley) sometimes I find it sometimes I don’t so I omit it if I can’t find it! The first time I found it I was
surprised it looks like parsnip!
1 large or 2 small carrots
1 small or ½ large knob celery
1 medium onion
1 medium leek, (cleaned really well)
2 stalks celery with leaves
3-4 springs Italian parsley
White pepper, optional and to taste
Pinch of sugar if needed
Quarter the chicken so it can be covered with as little water as possible. Singe the chicken to remove pin feathers and trim off excess fat. Scrape the gizzard, clean and rinse along with the heart. Do not use the liver.
Place the chicken with giblets and 2 teaspoons of salt in a tall, straight-sided pot, preferably not aluminum and add just enough water barely to cover, ideally not more than 2 ½ quarts of water because the soup will lack strength.
Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer uncovered skimming scum off the surface as it rises. When the soup seems clear, cover and simmer slowly but steadily for about 45 minutes.
While the soup simmers, prepare the vegetables. Scrape the parsnip, petouchka and carrots; peek the knob of celery and onions, trim and wash the leek well. Add all of these along with the celery and parsley to the soup pot. Bring the soup back to a simmer and cook for 1 ½ hours longer or until the meat begins to fall from the bones.
As the soup cooks, add a little salt gradually, if needed. Don’t add too much too early for the soup will become salty as it cooks down.
Remove the chicken and vegetables with slotted spoon. Let the soup cool then stain it through a fine sieve. Season with bit of white pepper if you like and if the soup has acidy edge, add the tiniest pinch of sugar.
The soup should be served scalding hot, never boil it if reheating.