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Rich and Comforting Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves: Makes 6 servings


  • Broth and Chicken:
  • 1 (4-pound) whole chicken
  • s
  • 2 pounds chicken backs and necks
  • 2 quarts low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and quartered crosswise
  • 1 stalk celery, quartered crosswise
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 leafy sprigs Italian parsley
  • 1 stem thyme
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • Coarse salt

  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 2 medium stalks celery, cut into
  • ¼-inch slices
  • 1 medium turnip, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 8 ounces dried egg noodles
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

  • Procedures:

    It may seem crazy, but we’re giving our from-scratch chicken broth a boost by making it with both water and some canned broth. A truly great chicken soup is all about the broth, and we find that some modern chickens just don’t have enough flavor to produce a rich enough soup. You can use all water if you prefer, but be sure to add enough salt to the finished soup to make it truly savory.
    1. To make the broth and cook the chicken, put all the chicken in a large pot, and add the broth and enough water to cover, about 1½ more quarts. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, parsley, thyme, cloves, peppercorns, and 2 teaspoons salt to the pot. Set the pot over low heat, cover, and heat slowly until just barely simmering. Uncover and watch the pot. As foam rises to the top, skim it off with a fine-mesh strainer or perforated spoon.

    2. Cook the chicken in the barely simmering water over low heat for about 40 minutes, or until very tender. Remove the chicken, set aside until cool enough to handle, then pull the skin off the meat, reserving the skin. Pull or cut the cooked chicken from the bones into bite-sized pieces and keep refrigerated until ready to serve the soup. Add the bones and gristle and the reserved skin back to the broth. Continue to simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 2 hours longer, or until the broth is reduced to about 2½ quarts.

    3. Remove the pot from the heat and let the broth stand for 1 to 2 hours, until lukewarm. Line a fine-mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a large bowl. Strain the broth and discard the solids.

    4. If there isn't room in the refrigerator for the bowl of broth, divide it among smaller containers. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight until well chilled and the fat has solidified on the surface. Lift of the fat with a spoon or sieve. (The broth will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.)

    5. To assemble the soup, put the defatted broth back into a large pot and bring to a simmer. Bring another large pot of generously salted water to a boil. Add the carrots, celery, and turnip and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Scoop out with a perforated spoon or Chinese skimmer and add to the simmering broth.

    6. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Drain well and add to the simmering broth, along with the cooked reserved chicken meat. After a few minutes, taste and adjust the salt level. Serve in shallow bowls, with parsley sprinkled on top.

    by Sur La Table & Andrews McMeel Publishing

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