Nancy Krcek Allen has worked as a chef-educator for more than 25 years and has taught professional and recreational classes in California, New York and Michigan. Her culinary textbook, “Discovering Global Cuisines” was released in March 2013.
Classic Chicken Soup/Broth
3-1/2-lb. chicken, rinsed in cold water
1 lb. chicken legs
6 medium carrots, peeled or scrubbed well, divided
4 medium celery stalks, divided
1 large onion
1 small bunch Italian parsley, rinsed
1 small leek, halved lengthwise and rinsed between layers
Place the chicken — either whole or cut into pieces — in a large, narrow, tall pot. Add cold water to cover, about 3 quarts. Bring to a boil slowly over medium heat. Immediately reduce heat to low, and for a very clear broth, simmer with barely a bubble for one hour. If broth is boiled hard it will become cloudy. Skim foam that rises to the top and discard.
Cut half the carrots and half the celery stalks and the whole onion into 1-inch dice. Add the vegetables to the pot along with the stems from the parsley. Continue to simmer until chicken is very tender, 2-3 hours more.
Drain the chicken and transfer to a bowl. Strain the broth into a clean pot. Discard the vegetables. Refrigerate broth overnight. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones. Discard skin, bones and gristle. Reserve and refrigerate meat.
The next day, skim away and discard the fat that forms on the surface of the broth. Bring broth to a simmer over medium heat. Thinly slice remaining carrots and celery. Cut away tough green part of leek and discard. Finely slice white and tender green part. Add vegetables to the broth. Simmer until tender, 10-15 minutes.
Break up reserved meat into large chunks and add to the hot soup. Lightly chop the parsley and add. Taste soup and season with salt and freshly ground pepper, as desired. Ladle soup into 4-6 individual bowls and serve hot.