Chicken Noodle Soup

For over 20 years, every time I have gotten sick I have made myself a big pot of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. While I doubt the soup is the cure, by the time the soup is gone I invariably feel much better. It’s perfect, because I can re-heat the soup, little by little, requiring only minimal effort for each meal. Perhaps the extra rest is more of a cure than the soup. Today my youngest son got a stomach flu, so I made him a big pot of chicken soup in the hopes that he would be able to eat (and keep down) a healthy meal on his upset stomach. I can’t believe I’ve never posted my recipe for Chicken Soup. Here is my recipe, plus a link to Chris Kimball’s recipe, which had some influence over the evolution of my own soup recipe. 4-stars.

Chicken Noodle Soup is the best medicine for winter flu

Chicken Noodle Soup is the best medicine for winter flu


  1. Today I used chicken thighs, which are great for braising. Sometimes I use boneless breasts if I happen to already have them in my refrigerator, but bone-in chicken is always better for soup.
  2. I used 4-cups of my homemade chicken stock, but you could also use broth from a can or carton. In fact, you could even use a total of 2-1/2 quarts of plain water in this recipe, though the flavor won’t be quite as good.
  3. Chris Kimball recommends just 2 cups of wide egg noodles. I prefer my soup more fully-loaded so used a 9-oz package for fresh, refrigerated pasta.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $9.50 for 3 quarts of soup.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 10:00 AM. Finish time 12:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (or about 4 pounds of chicken pieces)
2 medium onions
4 large carrot
4 to 5 teaspoons table salt
1 quart chicken broth (4 cups)
1-1/2 quarts water (6 cups)
2 bay leaves
4 springs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 rib celery
2 potatoes
1 package of fresh fettuccine or 3 cups wide egg noodles (5 ounces).
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

  1. If you are using a whole chicken, break it down into individual pieces (e.g. thighs, drumsticks, breasts, etc). Remove the skin from the chicken and trim away any visible fat. Pat the chicken pieces dry using paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large dutch oven set over medium-high burner until just smoking. Add half the chicken, meaty-side down, brown for 6 minutes per side. Use tongs to flip and brown the second side for 6 more minutes. Remove the chicken to a clean plate, and repeat the browning process with the remaining chicken (using the same oil).
  3. While the chicken browns, cut your onion into a medium dice. Peel and cut your carrots into 1/4″-thick slices. Also peel your potatoes and cut into 1/2″ dice, and cut your 3 rib of celery into 1/4-” thick slices (but keep the potatoes/celery separate from onions/carrots). Use kitchen twine to tie together your thyme sprigs.
  4. After you remove the second batch of chicken, use the same oil to saute your diced onions and carrots for 6 minutes, using the moisture of the onions to deglaze the pot.
  5. Add the chicken broth and water to the Dutch oven, and arrange the chicken pieces bone-side down. Add 1 tablespoon table salt, 2 bay leaves, thyme bundle, ground black pepper, diced potatoes, and celery slices. Bring the soup up to a gentle boil, then reduce burner to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 50 to 60 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are very tender.
  6. Use tongs to remove chicken from pot. Then use two forks to remove the meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces. Discard the bone. Add the shredded chicken back to soup, and adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste. Stir in minced parsley, and serve.
  7. Allow to cool for 2 hours before refrigerating leftovers. Alternatively you can empty leftovers into two or three 4-cup containers and refrigerate the individual containers.

3 Responses to Chicken Noodle Soup

  1. Rochelle Eissenstat says:

    My chicken soup is a little different, inspired by but not exactly from my Polish Jewish mother.
    I use kosher chicken wings [about 1 dozen], not the whole chicken or other parts B/C there is more protein so the broth gels much more if only the wings. I also add a kosher turkey neck cut into segments for more complex & richer flavor. Because the kosher meat has more salt in it than nonkosher regular meat, I do not add any salt to this soup until it is ready to serve. At that point, you can taste it & decide whether & how much salt you want in it.
    Veggies – more carrots – 4, more celery -4 ribs, only 1 onion, 1 parsnip [a must]. Optional – 1 medium zucchini chunked, 1 turnip or 1 kohlrabi, cut into chunks.
    Aromatics in a cheesecloth or similar packet – several peeled cloves of garlic, 6 sprigs of parsley, at least as many sprigs of dill [a must], 10 whole black peppercorns, a 1 inch segment of fresh ginger, 2-3 whole allspice.
    FIRST, simmer the meats until done in about 3 quarts of water. Remove the meats or leave them in if you want to serve them in the soup. You need not discard the soup meats. I usually douse the drained turkey necks with a tandoori sauce in a pan, cover it, and bake it for 30 minutes. It isn’t gourmet but it is tasty enough not to be discarded. The wings get a slightly sweet & very hot sauce-glaze & are baked uncovered till the glaze has caramelized a bit – about 30-40 minutes. Again, tasty enough that I never throw these away.
    Add the vegetables & packet of aromatics & bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer, and cook until the carrots & celery are soft. This may take 1 hour or more. Before serving, you may skim off the scum and fat floating on the surface of the soup.
    Additions to the soup: Cook whatever noodles you like in a separate pot. Or matzo balls or kreplach. All these can be cooked ahead & stored in the fridge till ready to serve the soup. I keep these separate from the soup when I serve the soup. Then I add whatever people prefer to the soup bowl of each person.

  2. Rochelle Eissenstat says:

    When available, my mom would also add carrot greens to the soup too. I neglected to say that the all the vegetables were cut into generous sized chunks.

  3. pennedwards says:

    When do you add the fettuccine?

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