I call this Grandmother’s Czech Chicken Hack – 3 In One because it is really a shortcut to making three meals: baked chicken, chicken soup, and a powerful healing chicken stock.
Doesn’t it look delicious and full of healing goodness?
Trust us, it is.
- 1 large chicken
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 onions, left whole
- 8 carrots, peeled and left whole
- 8 stalks celery, left whole
- 4-6 parsnips, peeled and left whole
- 10-12 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 3-4 bay leaves
- salt and pepper
You will be making a strong stock, a hearty chicken soup, and a roasted chicken. These do not need to be served on the same day. Make the stock to keep in the fridge for another meal. Save the soup for tomorrow and roast the chicken this evening – or however you wish.
The trick is to know you are planning ahead for three meals when you begin.
In a very large stock pan or Dutch oven (we use this because we cook it covered and the broth is twice as strong), place all of the ingredients from above (except salt and pepper, save that for the very end) and cover with water. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for one hour.
After an hour, you want to strain all of the ingredients into another large pot or stainless steel bowl. Do not use a colander – use a fine strainer. If your strainer is too small, manually pull out the chicken and all of the vegetables and set them aside in a bowl.
Lift up the strainer with all of the vegetables and chicken and set aside. The chicken can be placed on a rack and into the oven for roasting at this point. (I cover it with some olive oil and caraway seeds.) It is tender and juicy inside and should almost be cooked, so you do not have to bake it too long, just enough to crisp up the skin.
Pour half of the liquid into Ball jars (use the ratio of half liquid and half water as this is a super concentrated blend) and allow to cool completely before placing it into the fridge for use at another time.
Return the other half to the pan.
Now you have the whole chicken set aside or in the oven, your stock prepared and cooling, and it’s time to focus on the soup.
Take the remaining 2 chicken breasts and the vegetables and rinse them under cool water. Cut or shred the chicken breasts for meat in the soup and return them to the soup pot. Then slice the celery, carrots, and parsnips and add to the soup. At this time, you want to discard the Bay leaves.
As far as the onions and garlic, I usually chop these up and put them in a ziplock in the freezer. I add them to fried potatoes or other dishes when I am in a hurry.
I always add a cup or two of water and a few shakes of soy sauce into the soup, though my mom and grandmother used something called Maggi. Soy sauce works just fine, and you cannot taste it. I also take some soup noodles (the egg ones brought in the Kosher aisle of your grocery taste most authentic) and boil them in a separate pan until they are done. Then I rinse them in and add them to the soup right before serving.
This keeps the soup very clear, which Czech chicken soup should be. When it’s time to serve, add the noodles and some fresh chopped parsley.
The chicken in the oven can be served with some fresh mashed potatoes and corn, and the stock can be used in another recipe in the next couple of days.
One thing is certain – this blend ensures a rich taste filled with vitamins and is a healing medicine for many Czechs. This is also most likely what people refer to as “Jewish Penicillin.”
Remember that the broth you have created has been super concentrated from the ingredients and all of that garlic,, but the best part is surely the taste.
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