1 whole chicken
Celery (1-2) stalks
Bay leaf (optional)
Place chicken carcass and aromatics in a very large stew pot; cover with cold water. Bring to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the meat is falling off the bones. Remove chicken from broth and cool. Strain the broth. Pick meat from bones, reserve the meat and discard the nasty bits. Shred or coarsely chop the meat and set aside.
In another large pot, heat olive oil and saute:
3 stalks celery, chopped
4-8 jalapeños, chopped, seeds removed (serranos or hatch are also good; any green peppers will do)
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
When onions begin to appear translucent and peppers are soft, add:
1 12-oz can tomatillos*
Chicken broth from the chicken you just boiled (about 40-60 ounces or so)
Simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered.
After 30 minutes, puree vegetable/broth mixture. Add:
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Salt to taste
Cumin to taste (a teaspoon or two is sufficient)
Puree again until the cilantro is incorporated well into the soup. Add chopped chicken and bring soup to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes or so.
*If you can find fresh tomatillos, by all means, use them. If you use fresh, use about 6-8 and saute with the other vegetables.