This book is dedicated to the chicken in my soup. May she rest in peace until eaten.
My first tip is to start with a live chicken.
Find a chicken who is willing to participate. Most chickens will only see their own selfish personal gain. Talk to them about the higher purpose in life, fulfilment, destiny, immortality, sharing and being an inspiration to others. Promise to dedicate a book in their cherished memory. I have.
Any chicken eager to participate is suspect. Beware. The chicken could be suicidal or a rabies carrier. Avoid these types, they are stressed out and often make a lousy soup anyway.
Second tip. Now that you have found a chicken, it’s time to talk about its state of preparedness. Has it been to the vet recently? Is it well-educated and from a good family? Has it prepared a will (if so, ask to see it, maybe someone you know is a beneficiary).
My third tip is to discuss its demise using only indirect and broad terms. Talk about religious beliefs in general, rather than specific sacrificial rituals. If you think that the chicken might ‘cotton on’ to the purpose of this discussion, start by a general discussion of the weather.
My fourth tip is to catch the chicken off guard. Tell it that you are going for a drive, and on the way make a brief stop at the butcher just “to pick up some spare ribs” (make it clear that it involves a completely different species). If the chicken wants to remain in the car, grab it by the legs. Upside-down chickens offer less resistance.
Tip Five. Plucking the chicken can be a nasty business, even when it is dead. You might consider a recipe for chicken soup with feathers.
Tip Six. Chicken soup is great with carrots and parsley. They offer less resistance than the chickens.
Tip Seven. Don’t throw the feet away.
When we were kids, our Mom (of blessed memory) used to make chicken soup with feet. Of the chicken, that is. Make sure you use chicken feet that have been properly washed and pedicured. I sure hope Mom did.
Tip Seven. If your children ask you where chickens come from, tell them that they are vegetables that grow on trees. This works until the age of eight or until they see a butcher in a market or on Instagram.
Tip Eight. Don’t make kneidlach or matzoh balls unless you have the proper roots.
Parsley roots are good, I hear.
Tip Ten. My last and best tip. If you don’t know how to make chicken soup, this is not the time and place to start learning. I am not a cook. I’ve never made chicken soup.
So I am definitely not the right teacher.
So if you have read this far, I suggest you give up and ‘order in’.