Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup Recipe (Jewish Penicillin)

Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup Recipe – Otherwise known as “Jewish Penicillin”


Stovetop and Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions

 

Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup is known for having a golden, clear broth with essential nutrients to revive you right out of your sick bed.  It makes sense why homemade Jewish chicken soup is also famously known as “Jewish Penicillin”.  Every Jewish Mama will insist that their chicken soup is the best chicken soup, because it is made with LOVE.

Stovetop Instructions
Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions

Jewish Chicken Soup -Jewish Penicillin

 

Making your own broth from scratch is very easy.  Simply place the whole chicken in the pot with root vegetables, fresh herbs, cover with water, and walk away from the stove for a few hours.  You might wonder, “Why would you boil a whole chicken with the skin on?  Isn’t there a lot of fat in the skin?”  Well, there is a very good reason for that.  Chicken skin is actually rich in collagen and not all fat.  Leaving the skin on the chicken while it simmers in water will help produce a rich flavor in the broth.  The skin will also help produce a beautiful golden color that makes Jewish chicken soup special.  The traditional root vegetables that are added to the soup while cooking are carrots, celery, onion, and parsnips.  Fresh parsley and dill with the stems on also add a great flavor to the broth during cooking.

No need to feel intimated by making homemade chicken soup.  Once you try this recipe, your friends and family will keep begging you to whip up some Jewish Penicillin whenever they feel a sniffle come on.  You can enjoy the broth with just chicken and vegetables or you can add noodles or matzo balls.  I have provided instructions to simmer the soup on the stovetop and if you are looking to save time, Instant Pot pressure cooker instructions are also provided.

Find more Instant Pot Pressure Cooker recipes and check out more outstanding soup recipes.

 

The tradition for soup broth comes from Northen Europe, where families would use the remaining meat bones, scraps of meat and vegetables to cook up soup to provide flavor and sustenance for their families.  It was strongly believed not to let any food go to waste, especially out of necessity if a family needed to stretch their earnings.  Many Jewish families across Europe favored raising their own chickens instead of pigs.  This may explain why chicken soup is favored and considered Jewish soul food.  Jewish chicken soup is also the base for Chicken Matzo Ball Soup which is an important menu item featured in many Jewish holiday meals.

Learn more about the tradition of Jewish Passover and a Passover Seder Menu with Recipes from Ellen Easton.

 

 

Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup Recipe (Jewish Penicillin):

Traditional Jewish Chicken Soup Recipe (Jewish Penicillin)

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Serving Size: Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds)*
4 quarts cold water
3 large carrots, cut into 3-inch chunks
3 celery stalks, cut into 3-inch stalks
1 medium onion, quartered
1 parsnip, quartered (optional)
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 3 whole cloves (optional)
2 bay leaves
1 small bunch of fresh parsley (with stems on)
1 small bunch of fresh dill (with stems on) *Optional
2 1/2 cups dried egg noodles *Optional

* It is important in Jewish traditional chicken broth to leave the skin on the chicken while simmering in water.  Much of the rich flavor and golden color comes from the chicken skin.

 

Instructions:

Stovetop Instructions:

Clear out both openings of the chicken and remove any giblets.  Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel and place in a large stockpot.  Fill the pot with cold water until the chicken is covered by about an inch of water.  Place the stockpot of chicken on the stove over medium-high heat.  When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low to let simmer.

Jewish Chicken Soup-chicken in pot

During the first part of the simmering process, you will see foam rise to the top of the water and clump together.  Use a large spoon to skim off the foam and discard.  Once all the foam has stopped producing, add back hot water to the pot so the chicken is covered by at least an inch again.

Jewish Chicken Soup-chicken boiling out impurities

Jewish Chicken Soup-skimming off scum

Add the carrots, celery, onion, parsnip, peppercorns, kosher salt, cloves, bay leaves, parsley and dill to the pot of chicken stock.  Cover with a lid, but allow some venting and let the stock cook at a steady simmer.  If it starts to boil too hard, the broth results will be cloudy. (steady bubbles coming up with steam, but not a rolling boil).  Let the stock cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the chicken meat is cooked and tender.  You may have to occasionally add more water to keep the chicken covered.

Jewish Chicken Soup-simmering with vegetables and herbs

When the chicken is done cooking, turn off the heat.  Use large tongs to transfer the chicken and vegetables to a cutting board and let cool.

Pour the stock from the pot through a strainer into another large pot or large bowl.  Discard any remaining herbs, spices, and onion chunks. This will give you a nice clear golden chicken broth. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. If desired, cover and refrigerate the broth for up to 8 hours and skim off any hardened fat from the surface and save the fat to use in other recipes. Otherwise, let the broth cool down for a couple hours and use a spoon to skim off the fat that is rising to the surface and discard.

Jewish Chicken Soup-straining broth

Jewish Chicken Soup-finished broth

Note: Rendered chicken fat skimmed off the top of cooled chicken broth is also known as the Jewish term "schmaltz". You can save that fat to help bind matzo balls in Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, or wrap the fat in plastic and freeze to use as a shortening replacement in other savory recipes such as homemade biscuits.

When the chicken is cooled, pull the meat off the bones and shred. Set aside the chicken meat until ready to use.  Discard the chicken carcass and skin. Chop up the carrots and celery into smaller bite-sized pieces. In a large 5 quart Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the chopped vegetables and chicken broth.  Note: If you do not prefer really soft vegetables in your soup, you can discard all the vegetables from your stock, and chop up fresh carrots, celery and parsnip and saute with a couple tablespoons chicken fat (schmaltz) or butter for a few minutes, until softened. Then add the sauteed vegetables to the broth. 

Jewish Chicken Soup-cutting up cooked carrots and celery

Heat the vegetables and broth until they just start to boil, add noodles if desired and bring the soup back up to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low to let the soup simmer until the noodles have become tender.  Stir in the chicken meat and let simmer for a few minutes until heated through.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jewish Chicken Soup-ready to eat

Ladle the soup in bowls to serve and garnish the tops with chopped fresh parsley or dill.

Jewish Chicken Soup-Bowl of Soup

Serves 4-6

 

Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Instructions:

Place a trivet with handles facing upwards inside the inner pot.

Clear out both openings of the chicken and remove any giblets.  Pat dry the chicken with a paper towel and place on top of the trivet inside the inner pot.

Jewish Chicken Soup-trivet inserted in Instant Pot

Jewish Chicken Soup-Chicken added to Instant Pot

Add the carrots, celery, onion, parsnip, peppercorns, kosher salt, cloves, bay leaves, parsley and dill on top of the chicken.  (Tuck vegetables into open pockets of space to make enough room in the inner pot.) Note: If you are using a 6 quart Instant Pot, reduce the number of vegetables to have enough room in the inner pot.  If using an 8 quart Instant Pot then the amount on the ingredient list should be fine. 

Jewish Chicken Soup-Chicken and Vegetables in Instant Pot

Fill the inner pot with enough cold water to cover the chicken. Place the inner pot inside the Instant Pot appliance and cover with lid. Close the lid to the sealing position. Next, make sure the pressure valve is closed to the sealing position. Press the Manual button, with the High-Pressure setting.  Adjust the pressure cooking time to 30 minutes. When the pressure cooking time is completed, let the pressure naturally release until you see the pressure pin drop. (this could take 25-30 minutes since there is a large quantity of liquid in the pot.) Press the Keep Warm/Cancel button to turn off the Instant Pot and open the lid and set aside.

Jewish Chicken Soup-Chicken and Vegetables finished cooking in pressure cooker

Using tongs, pull out the carrots and celery to a cutting board to let cool. Place silicon mitts on your hands for protection and grab the trivet handles to pull the chicken up and out of the Instant Pot. Place the chicken on a plate and cover with a foil tent to let cool.

Jewish Chicken Soup-Cooked Chicken

Pour the stock from the inner pot through a strainer into another large pot or large bowl. Discard any remaining herbs, spices, and onion chunks. This will give you a nice clear golden chicken broth. Season with kosher salt and pepper to taste. If desired, cover and refrigerate the broth for up to 8 hours and skim off any hardened fat from the surface and save the fat to use in other recipes. Otherwise, let the broth cool down for a couple hours and use a spoon to skim off the fat that is rising to the surface and discard.

Jewish Chicken Soup-straining broth

Jewish Chicken Soup-finished broth

Note: Rendered chicken fat skimmed off the top of cooled chicken broth is also known as the Jewish term "schmaltz". You can save that fat to help bind matzo balls in Chicken Matzo Ball Soup, or wrap the fat in plastic and freeze to use as a shortening replacement in other savory recipes such as homemade biscuits.

When the chicken is cooled, pull the meat off the bones and shred. Set aside the chicken meat until ready to use. Discard the chicken carcass and skin.  Chop up the carrots and celery into smaller bite-sized pieces. Add the chopped vegetables and chicken broth back into the inner pot.  Note: If you do not prefer really soft vegetables in your soup, you can discard all the vegetables from your stock, and chop up fresh carrots, celery and parsnip and saute with a couple tablespoons chicken fat (schmaltz) or butter for a few minutes, until softened. Then add the sauteed vegetables to the broth. 

Press the Saute button and then press the Adjust button until you see the "More" heat setting on the panel. Once the broth starts to come to a boil, add noodles if desired and bring the soup back up to a boil. Let the soup simmer until the noodles have become tender. Stir in the chicken meat and let simmer for a few minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Jewish Chicken Soup-Finished cooking in Instant Pot pressure cooker

Ladle the soup into bowls to serve and garnish the tops with chopped fresh parsley or dill.

Serves 4-6

 

 

https://whatscookingamerica.net/soup/jewish-chicken-soup.htm

This is the type of pressure cooker that I prefer to use in my cooking:  I get readers asking which electric pressure cooker brand I prefer to use for cooking.  I personally use the Instant Pot Multi-Use Pressure Cooker.  I love having 7 cooking functions in one space-saving appliance – Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Saute Pan, Steamer, Yogurt Maker and Warmer.

Learn more tips on How to Use an Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

 

References:
A Superior Chicken Soup“, The New York Times, Food section, article by Julia Moskin, November 29, 2016.

Jewish Chicken Soup (Jewish Penicillin)

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