Grandmotherly Chicken Soup

Chicken Stock
1 5 lb Chicken, cut into pieces
12 C Water

In a tall narrow stockpot, bring the chicken and water to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and allow to cool slightly. Remove and discard chicken skin. Remove the meat, tear into bite-sized pieces and refrigerate to use in soup or another dish.
Return the bones to the pot. Simmer for 3 hours and 30 minutes, partially covered to keep too much liquid from evaporating. Skim occasionally to remove impurities and fat.
Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve, discarding bones. There should be about 8 cups. Stock can be frozen at this point.

Chicken Soup
1 – 2 C Medium egg noodles
2 sm Carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthwise and across into 1/2″ lengths
2 sm Onions, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 sm Stalks celery, cut in half lengthwise and across into 1/2″ pieces
1 med Leek, white part only, cut in half lengthwise, washed, cut into 1/4″ pieces
1 sm Turnip, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes (optional)
1 sm Parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes (optional)
1 clove Garlic, smashed and peeled
Stems from 1 bunch of parsley, tied with string

2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 C Loosely packed dill sprigs, chopped, or 2 tbsp dried dill weed

In a saucepan, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil. Season lightly with salt. Add the noodles and cook until tender, according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
In stockpot or dutch oven, combine the stock with carrots, onions, celery, leek, turnip, parsnip, garlic and parsley stems. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the carrots and turnips are tender. Remove the parsley stems. Stir in the salt, dill, cooked noodles and, if using, reserved chicken. Heat through.

Makes about 11 cups.


You don’t have time – or strength – to make real stock, but you want something better than canned? Kafka’s method makes a deep-gold, oniony version that can be used for another soup.

Fake Chicken Stock
1 lg can (6 cups) Chicken broth or about 3 – 14.5 oz. cans chicken broth
1 lb Chicken bones, backs, necks, wings or a combination
1 lg Yellow onion, skin on, quartered
2 env Unflavored gelatin

In a medium saucepan, bring broth, bones and onion to a boil. Lower heat slightly. Cook at low boil for 30 minutes. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve, pressing down on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Skim the fat. Return the broth to the saucepan.
Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water and let sit for 2 minutes. With a rubber spatula, scrape the gelatin into the broth. Heat the broth over medium heat, stirring, until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Broth will solidify in refrigerator, but will liquefy when reheated.

Makes about 5 cups.

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