Guardian Angel Curtis Sliwa’s 89-year-old Aunt Marie Stacey still makes this chicken soup in her Howard Beach home and takes it to revive ailing Angels on the New York City subways. Mrs. Stacey maintains that after cooking, the chicken meat should be shredded and vegetables mashed into the soup to release their curative powers.
- 4 quarts cold water
- 1 chicken (4 to 5 pounds), quartered
- 2 chicken feet, or 4 chicken wings, or 1 turkey wing
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and bruised
- 1 onion, peeled
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ bunch fresh parsley, tied together with string and rinsed
- 1 bay leaf
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1. Pour the cold water into a large pot. Add the chicken, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, parsley, bay leaf, salt, and peppercorns and slowly bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 hours, skimming frequently.
2. Strain the soup. Discard the onion, parsley, bay leaf, and peppercorns but reserve the other vegetables. Remove the chicken, skin and debone it, and reserve the meat. Return the chicken stock, chicken meat, carrots, celery, and garlic to the pot and bring back to a simmer; season with additional salt or pepper, to taste.
3. Serve the soup in big bowls over pastina, rice, or spaghettini. The soup’s curative powers are released only when the vegetables are mashed together in the bowl. Use a fork for mashing. Use a big spoon for eating. You’ll feel better soon.
Nutritional information is based on 12 servings.