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Author Notes: This recipe is based on my great-grandmother's chicken soup. The best chicken soup, of course, on the East Coast (from Miami to Maine)! I have combined it with the most delicious way to eat soup-- with egg! This is an old-fashioned recipe with a little of this and a dash of that. You can't mess it up and the variations are endless. —Bela Ruse
whole chicken, cut up
onions, or so, with skins on, quartered
carrots, peeled, and cut in thirds
ribs celery, cut in thirds
salt and pepper to taste
cloves of garlic, depending on your taste
- If you've purchased a whole chicken, cut into serving pieces. Add the entire chicken to the pot -- breasts, thighs, legs, wings, backbone, giblets, heart, and neck. Add the onions, onion skins, carrots, celery to pot. Fill the pot with water so everything is covered and the water is approximately 1 inch over the contents of the pot. Add a few peeled, whole cloves of garlic. Bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper.
- When white froth forms on the top of the pot, skim off and discard. Lower heat and simmer for 3-4 hours, partially covered. After about 2 hours, check the breasts, thighs, and legs for doneness. If they are cooked through, remove them from the pot. Remove the meat from the bones and discard the fat. Return the bones to the pot. Skim the fat off the top of the soup, if desired. I do this, because too much fat can cause the soup to feel oily. To skim the fat, gently lower a spoon parallel to the surface of the stock and dip one edge under the surface. The fat should fill the spoon. Put the fat into a small bowl next to the stove and save for matzoh balls or for cooking other food. Chicken fat, or schmaltz, can be used in the place of butter when pan frying (the kosher version of bacon fat).
- After 3-4 hours, your soup should be golden. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the chicken wings, back, bones, giblets and heart, as well as onion skins. Remove the carrots, onions , garlic and celery. You can pour your soup through a fine sieve to remove the small bits and pieces of chicken, bones, fat or just let them settle to the bottom of the pot. You now have a traditional Jewish chicken soup.
- Lemon and egg: Take a ladle of the soup and add to the beaten egg to temper the egg a bit. Add to the soup. Season with lemon to taste.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Restorative Recipes