Sunday, July 22, 2012

Simple Chicken Soup

Recorded July 21, 2012. A lot simpler than beginning with an entire chicken. Cooking the chicken and vegetables separately gives better control over doneness.
3 lbs chicken pieces (drums and thighs)
8 black peppercorns
fistful of parsley
2 bay leaves
2 crushed whole garlic cloves

1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 3 inch lengths
2 ribs plus leaves celery, cut into 3 inch lengths
3 medium yellow onions, peeled, whole
3 small parsnips, peeled and halved lengthwise 
Skin chicken pieces and cut away visible fat. Rinse well. Place in a 6 to 8 quart pot, and cover with water by an inch. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, permitting the foam that forms to coalesce and stick to the walls of the pot. Lower the heat to a fast simmer, and cook uncovered 25 minutes. Remove the partially-cooked chicken to a platter, and cover. Skim the stock of floating debris using a fine strainer and ladle. This step helps produce a clear stock. Tie the seasonings in cheese cloth, a paper coffee filter or a tea ball. Add the onions and the herb bundle to the pot and bring to a boil, lower heat to a fast simmer, and cook uncovered 10 minutes. Add the other vegetables and seasonings to the pot, adding water as needed, and simmer for 20 minutes. Return the chicken and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender. Discard the herb bundle. As a first course, serve the stock plus matzo balls, kreplach, or egg noodles, cooked separately. Next, serve the meat and vegetables as a second course.

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