Chicken Soup – Almost as good as Moms

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Of course since I am Jewish I should be the master of chicken soup. The fact is it takes a lifetime to be a master of great chicken soup!!! With that said, I think mine is pretty good. It’s my mothers recipe and she was the master, so….!!! I wanted to share this recipe with you but first, a few things. First, chicken soup is best when made with bones, wings and dark meat. Yes, you can make chicken soup with only white meat, but the cooking time is different and honestly the flavor will not be as rich. Second, in this recipe I used only wings. This method (wings only) will yield less chicken meat, so it’s a matter of what you want the soup for – just broth or hearty chicken soup. Third, I use raw chicken. I’ve seen people use the leftovers from a cooked chicken and it’s delicious, but that’s not how I make mine. Lastly, you can’t get away with the not skimming the soup. It’s that simple!

What you’ll need:
A about 12-quart soup pot and a strainer to strain the broth


1 whole (approximately 4-5 lbs.), cut up or 8 – 10 chicken thighs or 12-18 chicken wings
8 cups of water
4 stalks of celery – washed and cut into 1-inch chunks (you can use the leafy tops)
3 large carrots – peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
2 medium yellow onions – halved and then cut in 1-inch chunks
2 medium/large parsnips – peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 tablespoon black whole peppercorns

After the soup is done:
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks of celery, also diced
1 – 2 teaspoons of dill
Salt & Pepper

Put the chicken in the pot with the eight cups of cold water. Bring the pot to a boil. Salt the water when it comes to a boil with about a tablespoon of kosher salt and turn the heat to medium high. Two things have to happen here. First, make sure that the chicken is submerged. Second, you have to skim the “stuff” that come to the surface with a spoon. I skim and dump the “stuff” into an old coffee cup. Don’t worry about getting some of the broth during the skimming process, the vegetables will replace the liquid as they cook. When there isn’t anymore “stuff” to skim – usually twenty minutes or so, add in the vegetables. Turn the heat down to medium low – you want a slow gentle boil. Remember, you still might have to continue to skim as you go.

Simmer the soup, partially covered, for one to two hours. Check the doneness of the vegetables, they should be soft, and the meat should be falling off the bones. Continually taste the soup for salt and adjust to your taste.

Strain the broth and remove the vegetables and the meat. Let it cool and then remove the meat from the bones – this is a hands-on process! Dice the fresh carrots and celery and put the pot with the strained soup back on the heat and bring it to a boil. Add the vegetables and lower the heat to medium low until the vegetables are done about ten to twelve minutes. Now you can add the chicken back to the pot and season with salt and pepper and the dill.

There you have it!! Chicken soup! If you want to serve it with pasta or rice cook them separately.

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