makes 8 - 12 servings
3 - 4 heads of garlic
1 whole chicken (about 5 pounds)
1 large Spanish onion, peeled and diced (I used a yellow onion)
6 carrots, peeled and diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
12 cups of chicken broth (I used low-sodium)
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (I used 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon lemon zest (I got it from the lemons from the juice)
2 Tbsp. chopped mint leaves or 2 tsp. dried
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger root
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 bay leaves
1/4 heaping cup of chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh chopped mint
kosher salt to taste
3 cups of cooked white or jasmine rice (I used brown jasmine rice. Cook it on the side an pour the soup over it.)
1. Preheat the oven 375 degrees. Cut off the top of each head of garlic. Cover a baking sheet with foil and put the garlic heads on top. Drizzle the heads with olive oil. You can either flip the garlic heads upside down or cover them with foil so they don't burn on top. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the cloves are soft, brown, and caramelized. Let cool and then squeeze out the garlic heads. Mash the cloves and set aside.
2. In a stock pot, place the chicken, onion, carrots, and celery. Pour the chicken broth over the chicken and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add mashed garlic cloves, lemon juice, ginger root, lemon zest, mint, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and bay leaves.
3. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until chicken is very tender.
4. Remove chicken carefully and place on a plate to cool.
5. Remove soup from heat. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and add meat back to the soup. Taste, adding more lemon juice or other spices to taste. Add basil, mint, and salt. Remove bay leaves.
6. If serving immediately, return to heat until heated through. Stir and serve over cooked rice.
Note: Can be frozen for up to three months. If you are freezing it for more than a few days, I would freeze rice and soup separately so the soup doesn't get cloudy and the rice doesn't get mushy.