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"A pinch of this, a dash of that, a few cupfuls" was how our mothers and grandmothers told us to prepare a family recipe." ~RMKH

Remembering Our Danube Swabian Ancestors


Sunday Chicken Soup (Batschka)

by June Meyers, 16 Aug 2011

Comment: I remember going to the poultry store with my grandma to buy live chickens. The man in the store would kill it for you by twisting its neck quickly, then dunking it in a vat full of boiling water, and someone would pull off the feathers. Grandma would take it home to cut out the guts and cut off the head and feet.  Oh My!  How that poultry store smelled. And noisy, with all the crates with chickens squawking and live ducks and geese quacking.  We children were always very curious to see if there were any unlaid eggs in the chicken.  How we teased one another with the cut-off chicken feet.  By pressing a spot on the foot you could make the claws open and close. We all watched as our grandma singed off any remaining feathers by holding the chicken over the open gas flame. Those were the good old days? That was a lot of work! But those chickens tasted much better than the chickens of today.

  • 1 fat hen or chicken parts disjointed (about 5 lbs.)

  • 4 or 5 carrots, whole

  • 1 whole parsley root with greens on top

  • 1 or 2 onions each stuck with a whole clove

  • 2 or 3 ribs of celery

  • 1 small whole tomato (to give a rosy glow to the soup)

  • 4 quarts water

  • 1 tablespoons salt

  • teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground or a few slices of mace

Cook chicken in pot with water, skimming the scum off when the soup starts to boil.  Place all the vegetables and spices in the pot.

Cook over a low flame until the chicken is tender.  Remove as much fat as possible.  Strain soup and serve with broad noodles or liver dumplings.  Eat chicken on the side with Dill Sauce.

Dill Sauce for Chicken or Beef

[Edited by Rose Mary Keller Hughes. Published at DVHH by Jody McKim Pharr, 16 Aug 2011]


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