Gav Martell: He’s in the Kitchen


Bubbie's Secret Chicken Soup Recipe

The Ultimate Jewish Heirloom

In Jewish tradition chicken soup recipes are closely guarded family secrets. Everyone's mother and Bubbie makes it a little different than the next. Competition can be fierce.

"I hear Mrs. Schwartz puts cinnamon in her matza balls! Cinnamon! Can you imagine?"

"I swear Danny's Bubbie's chicken soup tastes like it's made with turkey bones. Turkey bones in chicken soup?! Feh!"

"Oy, bubbele, this soup you made is like water. Nebach...."

Anyway, you get the idea.

My wife Ali's Bubbie made the best chicken soup I have ever tasted, but that recipe was not shared with anyone. Ever. That is until she was sick enough to know her chicken soup cooking days were numbered. With much pride she called my father-in-law into the kitchen one day. She sat him down with pen and paper—and started to cook. She cooked soup. He watched and wrote. A pinch of this. A bissel of that. A few "Don't be a shlemiel—pay attention!"

So today, our family makes chicken soup the way Ali's Bubbie used to, and probably the way her Bubbie's Bubbie did before her.

Hope you enjoy it with your family!

1 whole chicken
2 carrots, peeled
2 parsnip, peeled
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 small onions, halved
16 black peppercorns
1 sprig fresh dill
Salt and pepper, to taste

  Place whole chicken in a large pot, cover with water and heat on stovetop on High. Fill a stock pot with vegetables, and water (about 6 quarts) and also begin to heat over High heat. Place the peppercorns and dill in an infuser and suspend in stock pot with the vegetables (this will make removal easy when done).

  Once the pot with the chicken comes to a boil use a slotted spoon to transfer chicken to the pot with the vegetables and discard waste water from first pot (this step removes a lot of the skimming required when normally making chicken soup)

  Cover soup and simmer on Medium-Low for 2.5 hours. Remove infuser and discard contents. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  Using a slotted spoon, remove chicken from the broth. De-bone the chicken, dice and return to the soup or save for chicken salad or chicken pot pie. 

  Let the soup cool to room temperature uncovered until cool before refrigerating. If rewarming to serve later, simmer gently so soup remains clear. 

Find even more tricks, tips, and awesome recipes to help get your through this eight-day holiday.