Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Recipe from the TWiT Army Mess Hall - Classic Chicken Soup

Here's another recipe from my Passover Dinner (Seder) coming up next Thursday night.


  • 5 - 6 lbs of bone-in, skin-on meaty chicken parts such as thighs
  • 4 qts of cold water, the quality matters here, bottled may be better than fresh if your water is very hard
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 2 large onions, one peeled and quartered, one trimmed and quartered but left unpeeled (the peel is part of what colors the soup golden)
  • ½ lb parsnips, skinned and cut into chunks
  • Celery root about the size of a lemon cut into chunks, if you can't find celery root use 3 stalks of celery
  • 1 lb carrots, skinned and cut into chunks
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 6 sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 parsley root, scraped and cut into chunks
  • 1 parsnip root scraped and cut into chunks
  • 2 large leeks, washed well and white parts cut into pieces, save the green leaves for later
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf

Day 1:
Roast the chicken parts in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes, save all the pan juices. Put the chicken, pan juices and water into a large kettle along with ½ tbl. of salt. Bring heat to medium and start simmering the soup. Here's where the work starts. You really need to spend a lot of time now skimming the soup until the broth is complete clear (Important, DO NOT LET THE SOUP BOIL or it will be cloudy forever). Add all the rest of the ingredients except for the leek leaves and continue to skim until there is absolutely no more scum. Now cover with the leek leaves (if you don't have enough use some romaine leaves also). Cover with the pot and let simmer for at least 6 hours but overnight is better. Use a crock pot at this point if you're not comfortable leaving an open flame all night.

Now you can taste the soup and add salt as needed. Remove the chicken and save the meat for other uses such as chicken salad. Remove as much of the vegetables as possible and then strain the soup through cheesecloth. Squeeze the cheesecloth to get as much of the soup out as possible.
Refrigerate the soup overnight and then skim any congealed fat.

Reheat the soup before serving.

N.B. You can make this up to 3 to 4 days before using, just keep it refrigerated until ready to heat and eat

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