Golden Chicken Soup (Goldena Yoich)

Food equals love in my Family. My own ultimate expression of love is to make Chicken Soup. I have always made some for my friends whenever they are sick. I show up at their door with two big containers of it. Even as I write this now, I am making chicken soup for my mom who will be visiting me this week.

In high school, the book, Franny and Zooey, by J D Salinger, inspired me. At the end, Franny reminisces about her mom’s delicious chicken soup. It took Franny the entire book (and her life journey) to recognize her mother’s love and how it was embodied in her chicken soup. As they say, chicken soup is the best medicine because it is made with love. In Zooey’s final speech to Franny, she says “You don’t even have sense enough to drink when …Bessie …brings you a cup of consecrated chicken soup. So just tell me, Just tell me…How in hell are you going to recognize a legitimate holy man when you see one if you don’t even know a cup of consecrated chicken soup when it’s right in front of your nose?” (page 165).

Zooey brings up several powerful images. First, the “consecrated chicken soup,” which is what Salinger calls Bessie’s offering, is a symbol of the caring and love of ordinary people. Franny and Zooey’s parents may not be as intelligent as their children, but they can still offer spiritual love and support. A mother’s chicken soup is a tangible symbol of the holiness of love. And to this day, I agree. Chicken soup is an essential and edible part of the recipe for love.

Makes about 2 gallons of stock

Ingredients

  • 2 whole chickens (4-5 pounds each)
  • 2 lbs chicken drumsticks
  • 2 lbs chicken necks
  • 6 stalks celery, including the leaves
  • 3 large onions, peeled and rough chopped
  • 6 parsnips, peeled and rough chopped
  • 8 carrots, peeled and rough shopped
  • 2 turnips, peeled and rough chopped
  • ½ celery root or celeriac, peeled and rough chopped
  • salt and white pepper to taste
  • Tie up 2 bundles of the following herbs with cheesecloth and twine: 3 sprigs fresh parsley, 3 sprigs fresh dill, 3 sprigs of rosemary , 3 sprigs of thyme

Instructions

  1. Place ½ of the full list of ingredients into a large pot (1 whole chicken,1 lb drumsticks, 1 herb bundle, etc). Fill pot with enough water to cover ingredients. Bring to a boil then simmer for 3 hours. Remove the scum as it rises to the top of the pot.
  2. When broth is done, cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The next day, skim the fat off the top and strain the ingredients from the broth. (Use the cooked chicken to make Charoset Chicken Salad).
  4. Repeat the stock process and add another batch of all of the ingredients to the strained stock from the previous day. Bring to boil. Simmer for 3 hours. Strain. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate the stock overnight. Skim fat and strain.
  5. Serve with our delicious "Lucky" Matzo Balls!

Notes

Recommend making this ahead and freezing in quart containers so you can take them out as you need them.

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14 Comments

Rich Trent

I simply HAVE to ask this question as I haven’t been able to get a definitive answer anywhere else. Do I discard the vegetables from the strained stock or can I cut them up and serve them in the soup?

Reply
Andy

We recommend discarding them. The nutritional value has been cooked out of the vegetables by that point. Cook fresh vegetables if you want to include them in the soup. Thanks for visiting Breaking Matzo!

Reply
Amy

I respectfully disagree with Andy’s response about serving the boiled out veggies with the soup. Yes, many of the nutritious values have been boiled away, but many times a nice piece of carrot, maybe a small bit of onion and celery, and a piece of boiled chicken go a long way in the overall enjoyment of homemade chicken soup.

Reply
Andrew sussman

Some people put more carrots in after straining, cook them down the blend them in a processor. Adds sweetness, texture and amazing color

Reply
Marilyn

You can do both. Sometimes I serve it clear and sometimes with chicken and veggies. Sometimes, I serve the soup with rice or noodles. etc., ect.,

Reply
Joni

Yet, for Passover you van not use rice or noodles. Just veggies, chicken and the Matzo Balls. I agree wholeheartedly to use some fresh cooked veggies than those that have been cooked to death in the process. Enjoy

Reply
Valli K Feldman

Remove veggies from soup, refeigerate separately from soup. Next day skim soup, replace veggies in soup and enjoy!

Reply
Julian Koplen

Do you mean I use the strained stock from the first day (but no added water) and then add a new batch of chicken and other solid ingredients to that first-day stock, then cook it all, producing a sort of “double-strength” stock? Thanks.

Reply
Andy

that’s correct, julian. that’s what makes a truly delicious golden broth. hope you enjoy!

Reply
Ellen Gavzy

Guess it depends upon how much soup you need. My family felt too much stuff like 6 parsnips and 2 turnips might be too much. Carrots, of course. A major ingredient as with onion and celery. Even Italian grandmothers start their soup with that trinity.
But we felt chicken soup should have a delicate flavor. Chicken, yes. But not legs and thighs and necks and two whole chickens unless it is for a platoon. And parsley and dill in the cheese cloth bag towards the end. But hey..sephardics don’t even make chicken soup for the holy days. And what is chicken horosset? Would love to know and even try it.

Reply
Beth Johnstone

After its all cooked I have separated the veggies from the stock and the matzoh balls all of them cooked. Then I take orders ( actually I know my family’s preferences ) but then you get the bowl the way you want it.. Soup and 2 balls and some chicken and some veggies or however you like it. I also cook up some very fine noodles for those who want everything in their bowl… Soup matzoh balls veggies chicken and noodles … Yum!!

Reply

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