This is my adaptation of a recipe for Jewish Penicillin, a.k.a. Chicken Soup. Everyone who tries it loves it - even my two year old. You can also leave out the meat and potatoes or rice and use this as a really flavorful chicken stock. I usually get around 6 quarts of soup, but it depends on how much I simmer it down.
- 1 (4 -5 lb) whole chickens, rinsed, giblets and excess fat discarded
- 1 -2 large onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 -3 stalks celery, cut into 3-4-inch lengths (including any leaves, I use the innermost stalks from a head)
- 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, rinsed (stems and leaves)
- 4 -6 garlic cloves, peeled
- kosher salt (to taste, I use around 1-2 tsp)
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves
- potatoes or rice or egg noodles
- Place chicken in an 8 quart stockpot. Add onion, celery, parsley, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves.
- Fill pot with water to cover by 2-3 inches. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, skimming foam from surface.
- Simmer for 1 hour, checking to be sure soup is still simmering and to make sure level doesn't drop too low (if it does, add more cold water, bring back to simmer, and cook a little longer).
- Remove chicken from soup and let sit, covered, until cool enough to handle; continue simmering soup in the meantime.
- Remove meat from bones and return bones, skin, etc to soup. Refrigerate chicken meat.
- Continue simmering soup. Soup may be simmered for another 1/2 hour or so, or may be simmered for a few hours - the time at this point is quite flexible. Just keep checking the broth level now and then; add cold water and return to simmer if it drops too low.
- Taste and correct seasoning. Strain through a few layers of cheesecloth into a clean stockpot. Discard vegetables and bones. Keep broth hot while you prepare the desired starch.
- If using potatoes, peel and cube and simmer until tender. Place some potato chunks and chicken meat into bowls and ladle hot broth over.
- If using rice, cook rice according to package directions. Place some rice and chicken meat into bowls and ladle hot broth over.
- If using noodles, cook according to package directions and drain well. Place some noodles and chicken meat into bowls and ladle hot broth over.
- This soup may be defatted if you make it in advance, cool quickly in an ice bath, and chill in the refrigerator. Once chilled, the fat will solidify on the surface and may be skimmed off. At this point, the broth may be frozen for later use (with or without meat, and without potatoes or rice), or it may be heated and served.