When life gives you 4 out of 5 coughing family members… Make Jewish penicillin! Warms the heart and heals the body. Comfort at it’s roots. I also skim off the chicken fat to make matzo balls. That makes them the most flavorful and gives them healing power as well. When I was in Thailand years ago and wasn’t feeling well they gave me a little vial of foul tasting liquid. I nearly gagged but quite quickly felt better. Turns out it literally was fowl! It was basically a very condensed form of chicken broth. So it seems chickens healing powers are widely recognized (but I prefer to have it in homemade soup…)!
For the soup I put a whole chicken in a large stockpot with about 3 quarts of water, 1 quartered onion, a couple carrots, bay leaves, fresh thyme, peppercorns and 2 cinnamon sticks. Bring to a boil and simmer partly covered an hour and a half. Remove the chicken to cool on a cutting surface. Strain the solids out of the stock and discard (compost). I put the pot out in our mud room to cool overnight so the fat will come to the surface. Skim off as much as possible and reserve for those matzo balls. When the chicken is cool shred the white meat and refrigerate it in a container with a little broth so it stays moist.
The next day chop up an onion and several garlic cloves and cook then in a little olive oil in a soup pot. When they are translucent add your broth and several diagonally sliced carrots (you could add celery too, but my dh can’t stand it so I leave it out). Cook until soft, about 20 minutes. Add some egg noodles and boil 10 minutes or so. Turn the temperature to low and add your chicken. Heat through and season as you like. I like a lot of kosher salt and hot red pepper flakes. Serve warm and enjoy!
Here’s a little trick I learned if there is still too much fat in your broth: put a large metal spoon in ice water and touch the bottom of the spoon to the top of the broth. The fat will form a skin on top which you can easily catch and skim off with another large spoon.