Detox Chicken Soup

I need a detox. Desperately. Thanksgiving sent me over the edge (not to mention the holiday mint m&m’s that just hit the shelves). Now holiday parties begin, and I just returned home from the foodie paradise that is Blackberry Farm. I had a show there Saturday night with Little Big Town and we were in a food and wine induced coma all weekend! Today I made this delicious soup out of Martha Stewart’s “Cooking School”. It made me feel like a new woman. This soup is a process-I’m warning you-but great for a cold and lazy Sunday. It takes about 2 hours from start to finish but is SO worth the wait. Whether you’re suffering from a bad cold, a bad hangover, or just good old fashioned over-indulgence, it is truly the cure. Enjoy!!! Check out my Gillian Welch playlist below, an essential listen while simmering broth…

~Scroll down for recipe~

I had the pleasure of seeing Gillian Welch and David Rawlings play last week at the Ryman Auditorium. They are absolutely brilliant and worth the drive if they’re coming anywhere near your town. Robert Plant, Patty Griffin, Buddy Miller, Dierks Bentley and a slew of other talented artists were in the house. I also saw John Prine at the grocery store! What an amazing town Nashville is…

Gillian Welch “The Way It Goes”
Gillian Welch “Annabelle”
Gillian Welch “Orphan Girl”
Gillian Welch Caleb Meyer”
Gillian Welch “One More Dollar”


Serves 6
~For chicken and broth~

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 parts (Or buy pre-cut)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 3/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 7 to 8 cups water

~For garnish vegetables~

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (1 cup)
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (1/2 cup)
  • 1 medium parsnip, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (3/4 cup)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

*I like to add another stalk of celery and another carrot to add more veggies in…

-Make broth and cook chicken, place chicken in a large stockpot (it should be just large enough to hold chicken with 3 inches of room on top). Add vegetables, herbs, peppercorns, salt, and enough water or stock to just cover chicken.

-Bring to a boil, skimming foam surface as necessary. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is just cooked through (the juices should run clear when pierced), about 7-10 minutes for breasts and 10-15 minutes for legs and thighs. Use tongs to remove each part as soon as it is finished cooking. (The meat will be added back to the soup later, so it is important not to overcook). When cool enough to handle, pull off and discard the skin, then separate the meat from the bones and tear into bite-size pieces. You should have about 3 cups of chicken.

*3 cups makes this soup pretty chicken heavy, sometimes I use 2 cups and use the rest for something else

-Fortify broth, cover chicken and refrigerate until needed. Return the bones to the pot and simmer for another hour.

-Strain broth through a fine seive, discarding solids. You should have about 6 cups of broth (add more water if necessary). Skim off fat, then add broth to clean pot. Add carrots, celery, parsnip, and return to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Add reserved chicken and cook just to heat through. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

* The chicken and broth can be made up to 3 days ahead. Refrigerate separately in covered containers, then proceed to finish the soup. If making ahead (or if you desire a lighter broth), refrigerate the broth at least overnight to allow the fat to accumulate at the top, then lift off with a spoon before proceeding.

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One Response to Detox Chicken Soup

  1. Phyllis Coleman December 7, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

    yum !!!