Rich and Hearty Chicken Soup

Submitted by Jean Millner


  • 1 whole chicken, cut into parts (about 3 lbs.)
  • 4 carrots, each cut into 4 pieces (do not peel)
  • 4 ribs celery, each cut into 4 pieces (including leaves)
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered (do not peel)
  • 1 parsnip, quartered (do not peel)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 quarts cold water
  • 4 chicken bouillon cubes
  • Dried spices
  • 3 cups carrots (cut into 1/4” dice)
  • 1 Tablespoon each: dried parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
  • Chopped fresh parsley


  1. Rinse chicken pieces under cold water. Pat dry with paper towel and line up on cutting board, including backbone and neck bone. 
  2. Rinse gizzard and place in stockpot. Discard liver.
  3. Give each piece of chicken a good whack with a meat cleaver or large chef’s knife to break the bone, exposing marrow.  This will yield the richest stock.
  4. Place all chicken pieces in stockpot.
  5. Add chunks of carrots, celery, onion, parsnip, bay leaf, garlic, peppercorns, bouillon and water.
  6. Cover and slowly bring to simmer – do not boil.
  7. Once simmering, strain the scum that forms on the top of the soup for a few minutes.
  8. Continue simmering for one hour, stirring once or twice.
  9. Remove chicken pieces until cool enough to pick meat from bones and cut into bite size pieces. Cover tightly and refrigerate chicken until ready to serve. Discard bones.

10. Meanwhile, strain broth and transfer to storage containers, cover, and refrigerate overnight or until cold enough that fat solids can be lifted off top of stock. (Note: you can refrigerate the solid fat for making matzo balls later if you’d like. I prefer to use duck fat.)

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11. To finish soup, return stock to pot along with diced carrots and chicken pieces.

12. Heat through, adjust salt and pepper, and serve over egg noodles cooked al dente and/or Duck Fat Matzo Balls (recipe follows). Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Duck Fat Matzo Balls


  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • 4 Tablespoons melted duck fat
  • 1 cup matzo meal
  • 4 Tablespoons chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Few grinds fresh ground pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes


  1. Whisk together eggs and duck fat. Add matzo meal, salt, pepper, water and parsley flakes.
  2. Mix well; cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  3. Bring a 4- or 6-quart stockpot of salted water to a boil.
  4. For light and fluffy matzo balls, use a small scoop to form balls and gently drop into boiling water. For denser matzo balls, form the matzo balls by hand.

Cover, reduce to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.