1 Whole chicken, 3 to 4 poundsParsley2-1/2 Quarts cold water (will vary - you need enough to cover your ingredients)2 Cubes chicken bouillon (optional)2 Teaspoons of salt1 Small onion, chopped2 Stalks celery with leaves, chopped2 Large carrots, chopped1 Bay leafSalt and pepper to taste↑ Back to top
Preparing the Chicken
1Rinse chicken thoroughly. As with all poultry, use cold water when rinsing. Warm or hot water can promote the growth of bacteria that cause salmonella and other diseases.2Check the internal cavity. Some chickens have their gizzards, neck, and/or other organs stuffed into their chest cavity. If this is the case with your chicken, be sure to remove these before proceeding, though it's unlikely that you would accidentally add them to the soup.3Trim excess fat. Use a sharp knife, a pair of kitchen shears, or your bare hands to remove the loose, excess fat at the base of the chicken's torso. If put in the soup, this loose fat becomes a gross surprise for whoever is unlucky enuogh to eat it.4Remove the legs. Pull each leg out from the body and remove it with a sharp knife. Once removed, you may want to divide the thigh from the drumstick by cutting along the "fat line" that marks the joint between the leg and thigh.5Remove the wings. Similar to how you removed the legs, pull each wing out from the body and cut it away from the torso with a sharp knife. Cut the wing in half at the joint and discard the smaller "tip" portion.6Cut up the breast. Use a sawing motion to remove the breast from the ribs (for safety purposes, cut back to front). Spread the breast out on a cutting board and separate it from the bone by making lengthwise cuts along either side of its center. Double check each breast after cutting to ensure there are no remaining bones or fragments.At this point, you may chop the breasts into halves, quarters, or as many pieces as you'd like.7Place chicken pieces in a large stock pot. When you've cut as much chicken meat as you'd like, simply add it to a large pot and you're done. If you'd prefer, you can also remove the skin, though this isn't essential.
Brewing the Soup
1Add water to cover, salt, and bay leaf. Add enough water to cover all of your chicken, but don't feel the need to over-do it - if your soup is too thick, you can always add more water later, while waiting for a watery soup to reduce is time-consuming.For added flavor, you may optionally add the chicken bouillon at this point as well.2Cover the pot and bring to boil. Over medium-high heat, this should take about 8-10 minutes, but may take more or less time depending on how much water you use.3Uncover and skim off the top froth. When your water starts boiling, remove the lid and remove the froth at the top with a wooden spoon. This prevents the water from boiling over.4Allow to simmer about 2 1/4 hours. Your goal is to make the chicken meat so soft that it falls off the bone. As your soup simmers, periodically check on it to ensure that the chicken is cooking nicely and to skim any froth off the top of the pot.5Add the onions, celery, and carrots and a pinch or two of parsley. After your chicken has cooked for a few hours, you may add your vegetables, which take less time to cook.6Allow to simmer about 45 minutes. Stir periodically to ensure even mixing and to eliminate top froth.7Strain soup, saving the broth. Strain your soup into another pot or similar container so that you retain the broth. Remove chicken meat from the bone, discarding any unappetizing pieces. When finished, return broth, chicken, and vegetables to the pot and serve.8Optionally, place cooked noodles or rice in bowl and add soup. To recreate a bowl of classic childhood "chicken noodle soup", simply add cooked noodles (or rice) to your soup. Pasta and rice take less time to cook than your soup takes to make, so you can prepare them while your soup is simmering with ample time to spare.