Traditionally, it was cooked with an entire old fighting cock, head and feet still attached. The cock was removed before serving the soup, to be eaten later as a main course. Leeks were thrown in for flavor, and a mysterious, subtle flavor was added with a handful of chopped dried plums (prunes.) “Many who've tasted this dish have called it the best chicken soup they've ever had,”
1 whole chicken ( a 3-4 lb. fryer )
1 coarse chopped onion or 1 tblspoon dried onion flakes
3 bay leaves
4 garlic cloves unpeeled
3 leeks (or 2 onions), chopped
6 medium carrots cut into pennies
5 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon Peppercorns
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 whole cloves
Salt and pepper
3 quarts water
1/4 cup barley
2 dried plums or prunes diced
Stew the chicken with the onion bay leaves and garlic in a large soup pot for 45 minutes.
Strain Stock into another pot and reserve.
After the chicken cools a bit pick the meat, chop and reserve.
Cook all the remaining ingredients except barley until vegetables are almost tender, 30-60 minutes. Add barley , prunes and cook 30 minutes until barley is tender
Add the Chicken meat and simmer 10 minutes.