Different Slants

Seeing the World from a New Angle

Grampa Katzman’s Sensual Chicago Chicken Soup, to Die For

Filed under: Uncategorized — Bob at 10:25 am on Wednesday, February 22, 2023

by Robert M. Katzman © February 22, 2023

 Ok, you’ve been good, or bad–I don’t care. So here’s a recipe as terrific or better than my Polish Gramma Celia, born in 1901, ever made.     She wouldn’t approve of me, but then she never did.

Big aluminum pot, several boxes of chicken stock made from chicken bones, add 8 country legs, which means the thigh is still connected.

Add two large yellow onions, skinned and cut into quarters. Add a can of carrots or cut up fresh ones, doesn’t matter.

I add a large can of diced tomatoes, often an entire bunch of green onions, sliced small.

I then add a formula of garlic, basil, parsley, and dried ground chili peppers, depending on personal preference for pain.

Cover, cook for an hour and simmer, initially, stirring every so often. I use a 24″ wooden spoon.

When the room fills with the fragrance of onion and chicken, using tongs, pull on a chicken leg.

If the leg bone pulls free, then the chicken is cooked enough to remove, cool, cut into pieces.

Then, put all of it back into the soup with all of the skin and only the large bones,unless you wish to die by skinny-sharp-chicken-bone suicide.

As you do this, remove all inedible gristle,and throw that away.

Unless you have pigs in your back yard who will love them.

But this is unlikely in most cities. In the Jewish areas, anyway.

But in Wisconsin?

Anything is possible.

In another half an hour, remove all the skin, bones and set aside.

Bones create a gel like substance which freezes easily with the chicken fat (schmaltz in Yiddish) frozen on top.

Now, this is a question of personal journey:

Do I want to taste glorious chicken soup with all the schmaltz intact and possibly die smiling within a week?

Or…remove all or most of the frozen fat like some culture-less Neanderthal and eat food similar to that served in Alaskan penitentiaries and continue living a bewildering life.

The finished soup is a glorious experience and eating too much is uncontrollably essential.

Eat it and plotz.

This means die in Yiddish, but not really.


The limp leftover skin can be cooked in sizzling olive oil with assorted spices until unrecognizable and as brittle as a cracker.

This is “Gribness”, a fantastic Easter European Schtetl (small jewish village) concoction, otherwise known as “Jewish Poison” which some epicurean connoisseurs compare favorably to sex, but I won’t get into that. I may have forgotten, frankly.

Which comes first, Gribness or sex, is another matter of personal preference.

I think combining them might destroy some previously happy relationships.

Just sayin’…

We wandering Desert People are a sensuous bunch, I tell ya.

Oh, the bones go to the pigs. But you already knew that, dincha?


Comment by NewMan From NewArk

February 22, 2023 @ 4:25 pm

I’m hungry now…

Comment by Lynda Rosemark

May 20, 2023 @ 4:55 pm

Your atonement for hurting Mike didn’t leave my mind today. I think we all wish we could sit down with someone that we may have wronged;we could learn from each other ?

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