Grandmas Chicken Soup

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one 3 1/2 pound chicken, cut up into 10 pieces, including the neck, gizzards discarded.
10 cups of water
1 Tablespoon Kosher salt
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
4 large carrots, cut in 1/2" rounds
3 ribs of celery, cut in 1/2 inch slices
4 cloves of garlic, minced
10 whole peppercorns

Make the soup:
        In a large pot, add the chicken, water and salt. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to a simmer. Skim all of the scum off of the top as it rises to the top.
        Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer partially covered for 30 minutes. Remove the chicken breast pieces and set aside. Continue simmering the soup for another 45 minutes. Remove the rest of the chicken pieces from the broth.

Makes 6-8 servings. YUM!

LESSONS Learned:
1. REALLY, get the BEST chicken you can find. That plastic wrapped bland looking one in the supermarket will always yield a flavorless soup.
2. You can embellish the basics here. A cored, chopped fennel bulb, or a parsnip or 2 are welcome additions, as is some chopped fresh parsley. I'm just a purist.
3. The easiest way to remove the extra chicken fat from the soup is to chill it. The fat will rise to the top and harden and will be easy to skim off. Do leave alittle though for extra flavor.
4. If you want to eat it right away, like I always do, you can skim the fat off of the hot soup. Use a large spoon or you can lay a piece of paper towel on top and quickly remove it and it will absorb the fat. You may have to do that more than once.