Step 1: Cook
1 Whole chicken, skin on. Use all pieces, including the back.
1 Whole garlic bulb, divided
3Tbs sea salt or Kosher salt
7 stalks celery, divided
1/2 bag pearl onions
3-4 large carrots
1/2 bunch fresh parsley
- Clean the organs out of the back piece of the chicken. Rinse all parts and place in a large pot - do not remove the skin.
- Crush and chop 5-6 cloves of the garlic (do not press, as you don’t want to loose any when the stock is strained. Also, crushing brings out the oils in the garlic, which adds more flavor, as apposed to just chopping it). Set aside the rest.
- Cut in half the carrots and 5 stalks of the celery.
- Cut off the ends and peel the pearl onions - leave whole
- Add veggies to the chicken, with the pepper and 2 Tbs salt.
- Cover with water. Simmer, covered, 2 1/2 to 3 hours; remove from heat and let cool.
Step 2: Divide and Add
After the soup has cooled to room temp, or cool enough to be handled, debone the chicken. Throw out the back, skin, cartilage, bones, and celery. Place meat and veggies to one side and strain the broth. This eliminates any small bones.
Cut the carrots and the remaining 2 stalks of celery into bite-sized pieces. Finely chop the parsley. Use the garlic press for the remaining garlic. Add the meat and veggies back to the broth, with remaining 1Tbs salt, (plus any additional herbs you might fancy). Let simmer an additional hour. Add S&P to taste. Serve with noodles, rice, or even over biscuits.
Save Some Broth -
After the broth has been strained, you should be able to set aside about two cups for use in other recipes; you can even drink it straight to boost the immune system when sick.
Remove the fat -
If you don’t want the extra fat in the soup, after the ‘ divide and add’ step, put the whole pot in the fridge over night. The fat can be skimmed off the next day.
Some Now, Some Later -
This recipe serves about 10 people. If you want to portion it out, do it after the ‘divide and add’, and put into zip lock baggies and freeze. Just remember to leave enough room in the baggie for expansion.
One Final Note....
Use organic chicken. Yes, it costs more, but you’re kind of defeating the purpose of making a from-scratch, healthy, immune-boosting meal if you’re using meat filled with hormones and raised in unsanitary conditions. It’s also pumped full of salt water, which increases your risk of salmonella, and means you’re paying for the weight of the chicken AND the added weight of the water. “All Natural” is NOT organic; this is a marketing ploy. The package MUST, by law, say ‘ORGANIC’.