Boiling the chicken for this classic favorite produces soft, tender meat that melts in your mouth. This is a hearty soup, filled with large pieces of shredded chicken, thick cut vegetables, and a rich, savory flavor. This recipe also freezes wonderfully, so go ahead and cook the entire thing!
- 1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), cleaned
- 1 1/2 onions, 1 coarsely chopped and 1/2 diced
- 5 celery stalks, 2 coarsely chopped and 3 sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 5 carrots, 2 coarsely chopped and 3 sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 teaspoon peppercorn
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 3 tablespoons dried thyme)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Egg noodles (or rice)
- Freshly ground pepper
- In a large stock pot, combine chicken, chopped onion, chopped celery, chopped carrot, garlic, peppercorn, bay leaves, and thyme, and cover with water so chicken is fully submerged. Bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
- Remove chicken and transfer to a plate. Remove and discard skin. Using forks, pull all meat off bones. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate while you finish preparing soup.
- Return all chicken bones to pot and simmer for 1 hour.
- Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer. Rinse out stock pot. Discard solids and return stock to pot.
- Bring stock to a boil, and cook for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- In the final 10 minutes of the stock cooking, add remaining onion, celery, and carrots.
- In a separate pot, cook egg noodles until al dente. Add chicken and egg noodles to soup. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.