|1 large||Stewing hen 6-8 lbs.(You can include all the giblets except the liver) (up to 2)|
|4 larges||Onions, Outer peeling from (Mom's idea)|
|4 larges||Onions cut in half|
|5||Celery stalks perferably with leaves attacked (up to 6)|
|6 larges||Carrots peeled and cut in 2 inch pieces (up to 8)|
|2 larges||Parsnips peeled and cut into 2 inch pices (Auntie called then weiss carrots)|
|15||Springs of parsley (up to 20)|
|Freshly ground pepper to taste|
|Dill (Mom's touch--she was Polish)|
|More parsley for a garnish (A Gurnish for those who speak Yiddish)|
(as adapted by my mother "so as it should taste better") May they both rest in peace.
The most inportant ingredient in chicken soup is naturally the chicken. The best chicken for chicken soup is a stewing hen. My Mother alwasys said that her sister-in-law Rivka could always pick out the best stewing hens. I asked my Mother why? She said "It takes one to know one." My Mother caught on to English in America very quickly.
The chikens may either be used whole or cut in pieces. The choice is yours.
Wash out the cavity of the chicken (if whole) or the chicken pieces in ice cold water. Remove the skin or not as you chose. If you leave the skin on there will be more fat globules in the soup. (Auntie Rivka used to say "It is only once a week, it can't hurt. Uncle Mendel used to roll his eyes back in his head when she said this.) Put the chicken in a stock pot and add add enough water to cover the chicken. Cover and bring to a boil. Skim the scum off the top. This usually occurs ten to fiftenn minutes after boiling. Add the carrots, onions, celery, parnsip, and springs of parsley. Add in the onion peel. This is what gives it the color. If you wish put all the vegtables except the carrots into a cheesecloth bag. This makes straining the soup easier.
LOWER THE HEAT. No more than a couple bubbles should appear at the top of the pot when the heat is reduced. Simmer like this for at least two hours.
I usually leave it for 3 to 3½ hours) (TIP: Do not cook too quickly, the water will boil out and the flavour will be lost.) Remove the chicken and the vegetables from the soup. Set the carrots aside.
They will be served with the sour--one or two pieces to each bowl. Discard all of the vegtables except the carrots, unless of course you want to eat the overcooked vegetables.
Pour the soup through a fine mesh strainer. (Make sure you have another pot under the strainer). Discard what remains in the strainer.
Add the salt and pepper just before serving.
The soup can be chilled in the refrigerator. If you do this, remember to remove the fat layer that has formed and hardened on top of the soup.
The meat should be just about falling off the chicken bones. This can be used for a chicken salad.
Pour the soup into soup dishes. Add a few pieces of carrots in each bowl.
Garnish with a sprig of parsley or preferable dill, which adds more flavour.
The soup can also be frozen.
Kneidlach should be served with this soup.
Posted to JEWISH-FOOD digest V97 #045 by aizenman@... (Cynthia Aizenman) on Feb 10, 1997.
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