It's Week Two of the Cold That Wouldn't Die. You haven't experienced flavor in just as long, thanks to your suicidal sinuses. You're achy all over. And as your former loved ones will attest, you've maxed out the credit on your Whining Card. It's time to take this thing down for the count. It's time to make Jewish chicken soup—bubbe's way, with the whole chicken and the dill. Even if your schmutz doesn't disappear completely, once you see how easy from-scratch chicken broth is, you'll never go back to canned.
Cold Killer Chicken Soup
1 large free-range or kosher chicken, rinsed and patted dry
4 stalks celery, including leafy tops, cut into 3-inch pieces
Kosher salt to rub inside chicken, plus 2 teaspoons
1 large yellow onion (with a firm, golden brown peel still intact)
1 large carrot, peeled
1 medium parsnip (a medium potato will also work), peeled
1/4 teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 sprig fresh dill, plus more for garnish (optional)
1) Cut 1 leg, both wings and the neck off of your chicken. Pour 12 cups of cold water into a large stockpot, and add the just-cut chicken parts and celery. Bring to a boil.2) Rub the inside of the remaining chicken with salt, then add to the boiling water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Test the chicken with a fork—if it's tender and fully cooked, remove it from the pot. Set aside on a large platter to cool. Leave the chicken parts in the pot.3) Add the whole onion, carrot and parsnip, plus the pepper and 2 teaspoons salt. Simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes.4) As the soup cooks, remove the skin and bones of the cooled chicken and shred into bite-size pieces. 5) Strain the soup. Discard all solids except for the carrot. (If you're as thrifty as bubbe was, you can pick apart the wings and legs—once they've cooled a little—for more chicken meat to add back to the soup.)6) Slice the carrot and return it to the soup. Submerge the dill in the soup for a minute and remove. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Add the chicken pieces and serve immediately. If desired, garnish each bowl with a snippet of fresh dill.
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