These instructions are for making soup in a “soup sock’’ (available at Kitchenwitch, 671 Centre St., Jamaica Plain, 617-524-6800; Sur La Table, The Mall at Chestnut Hill, 199 Boylston St., Chestnut Hill, 617-244-0213, and South Shore Plaza, 250 Granite St., Braintree, 781-303-4127). The sock holds the chicken, vegetables, and herbs. After cooking, set the sock on a cutting board with a groove around the edges to catch drips. Cut open the mesh and use as much of the chicken and vegetables as you like, along with cooked noodles.
|1||whole chicken (3 1/2 pounds), with neck and giblets (save the liver for another dish)|
|1||medium onion, quartered|
|4||cloves garlic, smashed and peeled|
|2||large carrots, cut into 1-inch slices|
|2||medium parsnips, cut into 1-inch slices|
|2||stalks celery, cut into 3-inch pieces|
|1||small handful fresh parsley sprigs, plus 3 tablespoons chopped parsley|
|4||sprigs fresh thyme|
|3 1/2||quarts (14 cups) cold water|
|1||teaspoon kosher salt|
|1/4||teaspoon black pepper|
|1/8||teaspoon crushed red pepper|
|8||ounces egg noodles, cooked until firm-tender|
|Few extra sprigs fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)|
1. In a soup sock, place the chicken, neck, giblets, onion, garlic, carrots, parsnips, celery, parsley sprigs, and thyme. Close the open end of the sock by either tying a knot with the mesh ends or using butcher’s twine.
2. Place the sock in a large stock pot. Pour in the water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Skim the liquid. Add salt, black pepper, and red pepper. Reduce the heat to moderately low, set on the cover askew, and simmer gently so the liquid is just bubbling, for 50 minutes.
3. Use tongs to turn the soup sock around in the pot so the knotted end is facing up. Using a pot holder or kitchen towel to grab the end, carefully lift the bag from the stock and place it in a large bowl. Transfer the bag to a carving board with grooves to capture the juices. As juices collect in the grooves, lift up the board and pour the juices back into the cooking pot.
4. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, cut a long slit in the sock. Cut or pull the chicken from the bones and cut the meat into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones. Transfer to a container. Cut the carrots and parsnips into pieces and add to the chicken. Cover and refrigerate.
5. Tip the chicken soup into a large container. Leave to cool. Cover and refrigerate.
6. Skim the fat from the chicken soup. Tip the soup into a stock pot and bring to a boil. Boil the stock for 10 minutes to reduce the liquid and concentrate the flavors. Add as much chicken, carrots, and parsnips to the soup as you like, along with cooked noodles. Simmer 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle with parsley.