1 hr 25 mins
This recipe has been in my family forever. My mom used to make it all the time here in the States and in Portugal. She learned it from my grandmother who learned it from her mother. And who knows how further back it goes. I know it's goes back more than 100 years. I grew up on this soup. It has a pleasing delicate flavor. Though my mom and ancestors have made it with rice and tiny pasta stars (found in Portuguese markets), I LOVE to use it with barley, so that is what the ingredients and method will list.
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Units: US | Metric
- 2 -3 tablespoons butter or 2 -3 tablespoons equivalent olive oil
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 6 chicken pieces, skin and fat removed (either drumsticks,thighs or combination)
- 2/3 cup barley
- 6 cups water
- 2 chicken, bouillons (Knorr brand preferred)
- 1 bunch watercress, chopped (stems and all)
- salt, to taste
- lemon juice, freshly squeezed, to taste (1/4 - 1/3 juice of 1 lemon)
- 1Place large pot over med. heat. Once pan is hot enough, add butter or olive oil until it is heated, being careful not to burn butter. Add chopped onions and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent.
- 2Add chicken pieces to brown. (This will bring out the flavor). Be careful not to burn onions.
- 3Add water to cover about 2-3” above chicken pieces, adding more or less water as needed. Add chicken bouillon and barley. Let water come to a boil. Reduce heat leaving lid slightly ajar. Simmer for 1 hour; adding water as needed and if necessary; remove scum and extra grease that might come to top of broth. Taste for salt and add if needed while cooking.
- 4Once chicken and barley are tender, using tongs, remove chicken pieces to a colander, placing a plate under colander in order to catch juices.
- 5Place chicken pieces onto a cutting board; cut chicken off of bone, cutting meat in 1” pieces; discarding bone and tough membrane.
- 6Place chicken pieces and any juice left in plate drained from colander back into pot.
- 7Add chopped watercress and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until just tender with a very slight crisp.
- 8Remove pot off of burner and drizzle lemon juice over all; mixing it in with wooden spoon; adjust with more or less lemon according to taste.
- 9NOTE 1: Be careful not overdo lemon because it can over power soup. Also, do not overcook watercress or it will lose some of its flavor by overcooking it too long. The barley can be substituted with rice or with small pasta stars. If using rice or pasta, add to the end of the cooking process (about 15 minutes before end of cooking).
- 10NOTE 2: For a good product, please don't substitute by using chicken breast. The thigh and drumstick are more flavorful. The bone also adds flavor to the broth creating a tastier end product. Of course, you may choose to use breast meat, but the result won't be the same.
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Nutritional Facts for ForeverMama's Heirloom Portuguese Watercress Chicken Soup
Serving Size: 1 (346 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 6
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 446.5
- Calories from Fat 244
- Total Fat 27.1 g
- Saturated Fat 9.0 g
- Cholesterol 123.5 mg
- Sodium 152.3 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 18.5 g
- Dietary Fiber 4.1 g
- Sugars 1.7 g
- Protein 31.2 g
The following items or measurements are not included: