Gay Cook’s Chicken Soup

[Gay Cook]

 

Chicken SoupMake 6 cups (1½ L)

Chicken soup is a perfect healer for illness as we wave the winter off and will help to keep us warm as we wait for summer to arrive.

  • 2 – 3 lbs (1 -1½ kg) whole chicken or 4 – 5 legs or trimmed backs
  • 2 inches (5 cm) fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into thin slices
  • 2 large carrots cut into ½-inch (2.5 cm) cubes or slices
  • 3 – 4 garlic cloves, smashed then chopped
  • 2 or 3  stalks fresh parsley
  • 4 fresh thyme stems or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried thyme leaves
  • 8 cups (2 L) cold water
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) sea salt
  • Pinch ground red pepper
  • 8 to 10 baby potatoes, left whole, optional
  • Garnish: 2 tablespoons (25 ml) coarsely chopped parsley

 

  1. To separate chicken, use sharp knife to cut off the both legs from the backbone; halve the legs. Cut off the wings.  Place chicken in large saucepan or stock pot and cover with cold water.
  2. Slightly smash ginger slices with the flat side of a chef’s knife and add to pot along with the leek, onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Tie the parsley and thyme stems with string or if using only parsley add the stems to the pot. Add to pot with dried thyme if using, salt and cold water. Bring to a gentle simmer and skim off any foam on top. Cook uncovered about 1 and 1 1/4  hours. Cool slightly.
  3. Remove chicken, skin, bones and herbs from soup pot and leave to cool on a rimmed bake pan. Remove any meat from the breastbones and legs. Set side the bones, skin and gristle. Cut the large portions of meat into slightly smaller pieces or cube and return to soup pot. Continue to simmer  with potatoes for 20 minutes or longer for stronger concentrated taste. Season to taste with salt and hot red pepper. Skim fat from the top or lay paper towel sheets on the top of the soups to absorb the fat.
  4. Serve soup hot and garnish with chopped parsley