The Best Chicken Soup

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Ingredients :

  • 1 chicken, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds, with skin, cut up
  • 3 stalks celery, with leaves, cut into chunks
  • 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
  • 2 yellow onions, peeled and halved
  • 1 parsnip or parsley root (optional)
  •  About 1 dozen large sprigs parsley
  •  About 1 dozen black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste

TO FINISH THE SOUP:

  • 3 tablespoons reserved chicken fat, more if needed
  • 3 leeks, trimmed, halved lengthwise, rinsed and sliced crosswise into thin half-moons
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
  •  Kosher salt and ground black or white pepper
  •  Egg noodles (fresh or dried), such as packaged wide noodles, spaetzle, fettuccine or pappardelle cut into short lengths (see note)
  •  Finely chopped herbs, such as parsley, scallions, dill or a combination

PREPARATION

  1. Place the chicken, celery, carrots, onions, parsnip (if using), parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt in a large soup pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to very low. Adjust the heat until the soup is “smiling”: barely moving on the surface, with an occasional bubble breaking through. Cook uncovered, until the chicken is very tender and falling off the bone, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

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