This recipe was originally called Cleansing Ginger Chicken Soup on Bon Appétit. It might be just the thing you need after the indulgences of the holidays, and you could probably adapt it to use leftover turkey (though you would have to add chicken broth). When I made it, I thought it was perfect and just what I needed. Be aware that it’s a very broth-y soup. I reduced the amount of water by half and used 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts along with 5 small thighs with bone and skin. Don’t forget to salt the soup, it definitely needs it. This makes about 8 servings, which I had with popovers on the side.
1 onion, sliced
2 celery stalks, chopped
8 oz. unpeeled scrubbed ginger, cut into ½”-thick slices
2 garlic cloves, crushed
10 whole black peppercorns
a 3-lb. whole organic chicken, cut into 7 pieces (2 breasts, 2 legs with thighs attached, 2 wings, 1 back)
cilantro leaves (optional)
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large heavy pot. Add chicken, placing breasts on top. Add 6 quarts water (I only used 3 quarts, which add up to 12 cups, and thought it was plenty); bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover with lid slightly ajar. Reduce heat to low; simmer until chicken breasts are just cooked through, about 30 minutes. Transfer chicken breasts to a plate; let cool, then cover and chill. Continue to simmer soup, uncovered, until broth is fully flavored, about 2 ½ hours longer.
Remove chicken from broth. When cool enough to handle, coarsely shred meat, including the breasts; discard skin and bones. Place a fine-mesh sieve over another large pot; strain broth, discarding solids in strainer (you should have about 8 cups broth). Season with salt. Return chicken pieces to soup to rewarm, about 5 minutes. Garnish soup with cilantro leaves, if desired.