Chicken soup in Israel is the typical chicken soup of Eastern European Jews. Its most important characteristic is its aroma. Every Friday morning, often even on Thursday afternoons, homes and streets are filled with the aroma of chicken soup being prepared for the Friday evening Sabbath meal.
When you’re going to prepare the chicken soup according this recipe, you will recognize the aroma of the chicken soup as you can smell it in Jerusalem.And of course, there are billions of variations possible with chicken soup, but this recipe is based on the old fashioned chicken soup you can find in Israel.
There are two tricks to accomplish that:
- Cover the bottom of the pot with bunches of parsley and dill, along with their stems. The contact with the direct heat imparts a special flavor and reduces the amount of bubbling.
- The second trick is to just cover the chicken with water, using as little liquid as possible .
- 1 bunch parsley
- 2 bunches dill
- 1 whole chicken (about 3 lb or 1.5 kg)
- 1-2 celery roots, cut into chunks
- 2 onions, quartered
- 3-4 carrots, each cut in half
- 1 potato, quartered
- 5 whole black peppercorns
- Coarse salt
- Pinch of sugar
- ½ green pepper (optional)
- 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled (optional)
- 1-2 allspice kernels (optional)
- Feet and gizzard of the chicken (optional)
- Place the parsley and dill stalks on the bottom of a large soup pot.
- Rinse the chicken in cold water and place it on top.
- Peel the celery roots, onions, carrots, and potato and tuck them in and around the chicken.
- Add the whole peppercorns, salt to taste, sugar, and any or all of the optional ingredients.
- Add only 6 cups (1 .5 liters) water.
- Bring the pot to a boil and simmer gently for 1 to 1 ½ hours.
- Remove the chicken, and separate the meat from the carcass.
- Put some of the meat back into the stock, and reserve the rest of the meat for a second course (I cut the chicken meat into smaller pieces and dump them back into the pan with the soup).
- Taste and correct the seasoning.
- Cool the soup, and if desired, place in the refrigerator overnight to allow the fat to collect at the top of the pot.
- Skim, reheat and add the customary noodles or kreplach (stuffed ravioli).