This recipe appeared in Better Than a Flu Shot on 29 Sep 2009
16 cups (1 gallon) water
1 whole chicken (4-5 pounds)
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 bay leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
20 black peppercorns
1 bunch celery (with leaves)
2 pounds carrots
4–6 tablespoons* Better Than Bouillon (chicken flavor)
1 pound package dry egg noodles (or other pasta)
Rinse the chicken (discarding the neck and giblets usually located in the cavity) and place it in a large stock pot. Add the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. During that time, skim the fat from the surface of the water once or twice.
In the meantime, peel and cut the onion, cut 1 pound of the carrots and two-thirds of the celery into thirds and mince the garlic. Reserve the other pound of carrots and the other one-third of the celery and the celery leaves for later use.
At the end of the 30 minutes, place the cut onion, carrots and celery and the bay leaves, peppercorns and garlic into the pot and continue to simmer, covered, for 1 more hour.
In the meantime, slice the reserved carrots and celery into thin slices. Cut the thicker carrots lengthwise into four long sticks and the celery lengthwise into two long sticks before slicing across the sticks to make small bite–size pieces.
At the end of the hour, use a strainer to strain the broth into a second pot, catching the chicken and all solids in the strainer. Return the strained broth to the stove on high heat and stir in the Better Than Bouillon and the sliced carrots and celery. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, boil a pot of water and cook the noodles (or other pasta) according to the package directions (try to cook them al dente). Chop the celery leaves finely. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, remove the skin and bones and any discolored parts and dice the meat into small pieces.
At the end of the 20 minutes, add the chopped celery leaves and diced chicken to the pot and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Place some noodles (or other pasta) in a bowl* and then add the soup to the bowl and serve (or serve the soup without noodles if desired). Grind some fresh pepper on top of the soup if desired.
Yields 12 generous bowls.
*Cook’s Notes: Regarding the Better Than Bouillon, it can taste a bit salty, so don’t use any additional salt in the recipe. I use 6 tablespoons of the Better Than Bouillon, but you can start with less and then taste and adjust as desired. Regarding the noodles (or other pasta), I recommend you keep them separate from the soup until you prepare the individual bowls. You can keep the noodles (or other pasta) in a Ziploc bag, separate from the soup, in the refrigerator. If you mix them together for storage, the noodles (or other pasta) absorb much of the broth. When you reheat the soup later, the broth will still escape from the noodles, but it can leave the noodles a bit soggy.
WI wine recommendation: This chicken soup is great with most white wines. I usually have a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, but most any white wine will do.