Submitted by Michelle Green
This recipe came about quite accidentally. One day my daughter Chany was not feeling well and stayed home for the day. As I was cleaning chicken legs, she asked me what I was making with them. I replied that I needed the cooked chicken for an appetizer that I was planning to serve that Friday night for dinner to our company. She asked if I could use it to make some soup for her, since she wasn’t feeling well. At first I thought I could just add some vegetables and then she would have her soup. Then I remembered, that since her favorite soup (second to MY chicken soup), is Mushroom Barley soup. I said—“Why can’t we combine the two and create something new?” So, that day the recipe was born—Chicken Mushroom Barley soup Ala Chany. She still loves it till today.
Place all ingredients into the pot except for the peas – I use an 8 quart pot.
Place the chicken into netted bags (I use Landau’s Wrap ‘n Boil netted bags). This will allow the chicken to cook and flavor of the soup will not be altered and it will make it easier to later remove the chicken from the pot and take it apart. You can put the bones into bags as well.
Cook on medium flame approximately 1-1/2 hours, till the chicken feels soft by using a fork through the bag, to test the meat. Add the green peas at the 3/4 hour mark.
When soup is done, remove pot from stove and carefully remove bag of bones and discard. Remove the chicken bags and place into large bowl.
Cool slightly till you can easily handle the chicken without burning yourself. Then cut open bags and remove chicken parts. Take chicken bottoms apart carefully—I use a cutting board for this, so that I can easily see all the bones and weed them out; discarding all the bones and any fat remaining and place chicken pieces in a separate bowl. Using a sharp knife to cut on a cutting board or with your fingers, tear the chicken into edible sized pieces.
Put the chicken pieces back into the pot of soup and heat thoroughly about 15-20 minutes. You can season with salt and pepper to taste or leave it to the individual to do so upon serving.
Sprinkle a bit of parsley flakes in middle of bowl before serving. It gives a nice presentation and adds to the flavor. Serve with croutons or bread. This soup has great texture from the meat and bones and the vegetables also make it quite filling. It also freezes very well.