Lauren's Lapsed-Jewish Chicken S00p
This recipe contains two parts: Making a rich brown chicken stock, and
making the stock into soup. Making the stock takes a good part of the day.
The stock must be refridgerated overnight and skimmed before the soup stage, so
this is a two-day process.
Since I attended wrote this recipe, I have attended culinary school
and become certified in safe food service techniques. I learned a few
About 95% of all chickens sold in the store test positive for
Salmonella bacteria. This is because regulations on chicken
production is incredibly lax due to a powerful chicken industry
Proper cooling of large amounts of hot soup is crucial to protect
eaters from salmonella. The best way to cool a large pot of hot soup
is to use an ice paddle. You can make your own by filling a 1 or 2
liter soda bottle half-full of water and freezing it. Stick it into
the middle of the soup pot, give it a few turns, then refrigerate it.
You can also fill zip-lock bags half full of water and freeze them.
If you make soup alot, you might want to buy
a commercial paddle.
- One three to four pound whole chicken OR save up the chicken
carcasses from other meals (freeze them).
- Optional: a pair of duck legs or other game bird parts. Duck
will add a wonderful richness to your chicken soup.
- A 1-lb bag of carrots
- A head of celery
- A head of garlic
- Two good-sized onions, preferably on the strong side
- Three parsnips. The Talmud states that those who make chicken soup without
parsnips are doomed to eat stale Taco Bell for eternity.
- Optional vegetables: Since I posted this recipe, several people
have written to me about their family chicken soup traditions. Most
differences involve the type of vegetables added to the stock. The
most common alternative vegetables are turnips and sweet potatoes, but
I've also heard of radishes and daikon (Japanese radish). Any of
these will work fine.
- Salt, preferably kosher
- White pepper (this is different from black pepper, but can be found in any
- Fresh dill (substitute dried, if you must)
- Bay leaves
- Matzo meal
- Put the chicken, two or three carrots, the parsnips, two or three tough
outer celery stalks, one onion and the entire head of garlic with the outer
stuff rubbed off in a roasting pan. Roast in an oven pre-heated to "the
cannonical temperature" (375 F) for one hour. If you're short on pan
space, stick the onion or garlic inside the chicken. If you have giblets, make
sure to roast them as well.
- Remove pan from oven. Carve the most easily accessible meat from the
chicken and reserve for chicken salad. A thorough job is
unnecessary and undesirable.
- Place chicken carcass, giblets, and roasted veggies in large stock pot. Add
cold water sufficient to cover the ingredients plus two inches.
- Deglaze the empty roasting pan by adding one cup of water to it, then
heating it on the burner while you scrape up the carmelized material on the
bottom. Dump the deglaze into the stock pot.
- Add the following spices to the stock: two bay leaves, a handful of fresh
dill sprigs, a small amount of salt, several generous shakes of white pepper,
and all of the leaves from the head of celery. A small amount of salt
is necessary, or the stock won't taste like anything if you want to
taste-test it at this point. Too much salt
is not good, because the stock will become concentrated when it cooks
down later. You'll have plenty of opportunities to add salt,
including at the table.
- Heat the stock to a simmer. Simmering is a
state of gentle activity with only a bubble or two breaking the surface.
Boiling is bad for stock.
- Simmer stock, uncovered, for six hours, adding water as needed to maintain
level. If scum forms on the top, spoon it out gently. You can reduce the simmering time required by breaking down
the carcass and such, but it makes the house smell great.
- Cool soup. See note up top about cooling.
- Fridge it until the next day.
- Remove stock from the fridge. Diligently skim all semi-solid fat from the
top. Put fat in a container and set aside.
- Strain the stock into a separate pot. Discard all the strained solids.
Transfer strained stock back to big stock pot.
- Start heating the stock. It's ok to boil it after it's been
strained. In fact, you want to boil it for safety.
- Optional: Clarify the stock. To do this, take about five egg
whites and beat them until very stiff. Reduce stock for simmer.
Spoon egg whites on top of the stock. Let the stock continue to
cook. Spoon off and discard egg whites. There will be bits of egg
white floating in the stock, but it will all sink to the bottom, and
you will have a very clear stock.
- Optional: Slice and add to the stock the chicken meat you reserved yesterday.
- Slice and add to the stock the second onion, two or three carrots and two or
three celery stalks. You may add a parsnip or two, but the goyim will wonder
about those weird white carrots.
- Make matzo balls by combining the following ingredients in a bowl and
refridgerating mix for one hour:
- Four beaten eggs
- One cup matzo meal
- One quarter cup reserved chicken fat. (Ok, ok, you're allowed to use canola
- One quarter cup seltzer water or plain water
- One half tsp salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper, or to taste
- Some chopped dill or parsley (optional).
- Remove chilled matzo ball mix from fridge. Form into balls about the size
of walnuts with your hands. Dipping hands into cold water keeps them from
getting too sticky. Do not pack balls too tightly or make them bigger than
- Optional: instead of cooking matzo balls in the soup, boil a big
pot of water and cook the matzo balls in it. There will be little
difference in taste, and the stock will be clearer.
- Drop matzo balls into heated soup.
- Adjust seasonings (especially salt) to taste.
- Cook matzo balls for about 25 minutes. They will get huge and fluffy.
- Eat the soup. You've earned it.