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Cock-a-leekie Soup

4 Parsley sprigs
1 Thyme sprigs
1 Bay leaves
1 Peppercorns
4 lb Chicken, raw
10 c Water
7 Leeks
2 Celery stalks
1 ts Salt
1 tb Parsley, chopped
1/2 c Pearl barley


Pearl barley refers to whole kernel barley, not a quick cooking variety. Pearl barley is available in most grocery stores. Tie parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns in a piece of cheesecloth. Thoroughly wash leeks, then cut white and 2" of green stems into 1/2" slices. Chop celery stalks. Cover chicken with water in large pan. Bring to boil over high heat. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Add leeks, celery, barley, bouquet garni, and salt, and reduce heat to low. Partly cover pan and simmer 1-1/2 to 2 hours until meat falls off bone. Remove pan from heat and transfer chicken to a cutting board or platter. Cool slightly. Skim fat off cooking liquid. Remove and discard bouquet garni. Carefully detatch chicken meat; discard skin and bones. Shred meat and return to soup. Simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes to reheat thoroughly. Sprinkle parsley over soup and serve at once.


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