1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves, stems reserved
5 whole black peppercorns
1 dried bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 clove garlic
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
1 to 2 medium onions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (4-pound) chicken, rinsed
Tie parsley stems together using kitchen twine. Prepare a bouquet garni: Place peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, and garlic in a 5-by-5-inch piece of cheesecloth; tie to enclose using kitchen twine.
In a large pot, combine parsley stems, bouquet garni, carrots, parsnips, onions, and chicken, breast-side down. Add enough water to cover; season with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce to a simmer, and cook, partially covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Skim any foam that rises to the top and discard.
Remove chicken from pot, and let stand until cool enough to handle. Skim fat from surface of soup, if desired, and discard. Remove and discard parsley stems and bouquet garni. Remove meat from bones; discard skin and bones. Shred meat into bite-size pieces, and return to pot. Cook until heated through; season with salt. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.
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