Recipe Night: N&G Chicken Soup (just add matzah balls)
while i’m still trying to wrap my head around the last week (a seder recap is coming – i swear), i’ve gotta share my much talked about chicken soup recipe before this here holiday is over. i don’t know about you all but i’m sorta over living on leftovers and tonight i plan to make my little one and myself (poor ABN has to work) matzah pizza because really, is it even passover if you don’t eat matzah pizza just once? but, i’m getting off topic. the topic at hand is this: the best chicken soup recipe…EVER. how do i know it’s the best? because it’s a combination of my GRANDMA’s and THE REAL NANI’s and, just like their matching china patterns - this chicken soup is really out of this world.
i always assumed that making chicken soup from scratch was a major deal, and while you do need a few hours (because the soup has to sit…duh) it’s really no biggie. if anything, making the soup (and i made two batches because i was worried i wouldn’t have enough…guess who had more than enough…for next year too) forces you to slow down a bit. the hours spent at home were great for getting work done and making progress on my crochet project.
N&G CHICKEN SOUP
- whole roasting chicken, cut into pieces – even better if you get get some extra wings and backs (or my grandma would argue, feet!). i used pieces rather than a whole chicken – this way i didn’t have to cut it up (gross) and was able to pick out the pieces that my family especially likes because one of the benefits of making soup from scratch is the boiled chicken that is left over (just ask EBN…and ABN).
- 5-6 carrots, 5-6 stalks of celery, 1 onion, parsley (parsnip and will are also good additions)
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1-2 telma cubes (shhhhh! this is a huge family secret, i might get disowned. but the telma gives the soup great color and extra flavor)
wash and dry chicken pieces and season with salt and pepper
put in a large soup pot and cover with water. the chicken pieces do not need to be submerged but if you are making a massive amount, like i was, it’s fine to just keep adding water (probably best to not fill the pot more than 3/4 of the way). uncovered, bring to a rolling boil and let the chicken boil for about 5 minutes until that lovely scum forms on top. remove as much scum as possible.
wash and clean celery stalks and carrots. cut in 2-3″ pieces and add to soup pot. i like to peel my carrots because you can later cut them up and add them to the soup. be sure to include celery leaves and the “root”; they add additional flavor. add one whole, peeled onion. if you are adding parsnip and dill, now is your time.
cover the pot, leaving 1/2″ air vent for steam to escape. simmer gently for about 2 1/2 hours. work on crochet project. in the last 10 minutes, add those TELMA CUBES – tell no one – and parsley.
strain. N&G both liked the chicken served warm or cold for dinner – and so did a couple of BNs i know and love. it’s also great for chicken salad.
pull the the meat from the bones and do with it what you desire. if you are freezing the soup (and you should, keep some on hand for the next flu season), be sure to save the bigger bones (my freezer currently looks like a bit of an avian burial ground) because when you reheat, you’ll want to add them in…did you know the bones are what give the soup the flavor? just be sure to remove the bones, before serving.
add some matzah balls – sinkers, floaters, spinners – whatever you desire – and enjoy!
legend has it, when my dad was in law school, my grandma wrote out this recipe for him and him to put in 3 Tb of pepper. let’s just say, that it was the ultimate home cure for any bacterial or viral infection!