This chicken soup recipe is made with all-natural and fresh ingredients. The flavor is infused with aromatics, fresh herbs, and a whole chicken. It is made without any artificial ingredients or bullion cubes.
Making a good homemade chicken broth can be very simple but just takes a little time. By making large batches and storing it for later use, you will not have to go through the process every time. This recipe may provide up to a few months of leftovers.
What is the difference between chicken broth & chicken stock?
Chicken stock is made by slowly simmering a whole chicken with the skin and bones with aromatics for flavor. Chicken broth is simmering the ingredients for a shorter amount of time until the chicken is cooked through and the broth is infused with enough flavor for chicken soup. Adding an acid such as vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice while the chicken simmers is known to help extract the healing properties of the chicken.
Chicken broth and stock are started the same, the difference is that stock is simmered with the bones or carcass for at least 4-6 hrs and up to 12-24 hrs.
Can you make stock from a chicken soup recipe?
Yes, once the chicken is done simmering after about 2 hrs it can be taken from the pot. Remove all of the meat, and set it aside. Take enough of the broth for chicken soup and place it in another medium pot, add the additional chopped carrots, celery, and chicken to this broth and simmer together in another pot until the carrots are cooked. Just add cooked pasta and you will have a good chicken soup with homemade broth.
To continue with the stock, I then place the bones back in the original pot with the remaining broth to continue to slow simmer for a few more hours. A stock needs to simmer for again 4-6 hrs and can be simmered for 12-24 hrs.
When do you use chicken stock vs. chicken broth?
Depending on what they were simmered with they can be used almost interchangeably. Chicken broth is good for soups, stews, or any recipe that calls for broth. The most common is a chicken soup recipe. Chicken stock that is slowly simmered for a long time will contain more of the gelatin that was extracted from the chicken bones making it great for sauces and gravy.
what can you substitute in a chicken soup recipe?
Don’t waste what you already have. If you notice in the images I used a red onion while the recipe calls for yellow onions. That is simply because I ran out of yellow onions and forgot to pick them up so I substituted them with the red onions I had on hand. It could barely tell and the soup was just as good.
You can also add parsnips or leeks as other vegetables, or shallots along with onions and garlic. You can also add a bay leaf or sage leaves with the herbs. Sometimes I throw in a lemon. This is your chicken soup recipe, add what you like and make it your own.
An important tip is when placing the chicken and all of the vegetables, herbs, and aromatics in a large stock pot, make sure the chicken is completely submerged in water. One trick that I use is to use a pot that has a shallow pasta cooker/strainer.
Submerge the strainer in the soup on top of the ingredients to let it hold everything under the water while it cooks. I usually add this once I have skimmed the top. Make sure not to overfill the pot and there is room for the lid to sit comfortably with room for the soup to simmer and not boil over.
What is the best way to strain the broth?
There are a couple of ways to strain the broth when it is done simmering. A good way to have a nice clean broth is to strain it with a cheesecloth. I take another large pot and secure a cheesecloth over the top with a little give. Remove the chicken from the pot, with oven mitts carefully pour the liquid from the broth through the cheesecloth and into the new pot allowing the cheesecloth to catch the herbs and veggies.
You can also use this same method with a mesh strainer set securely over the large pot. As you pour the broth the mesh strainer will catch the cooked herbs and vegetables as a cheesecloth would.
If you don’t have a cheesecloth or mesh strainer, you can strain the broth with a spider strainer. Be careful to also ensure you have removed any tiny bones that may be in the broth.
What are the best noodles for a chicken soup recipe?
The most common type of noodles for chicken noodle soup are egg noodles. I say use whatever noodle you like, try bow ties, or switch it up with tortellini. My favorite noodles for anything are shells as you can see in the images and in my mac & cheese recipe.
Can you cook the noodles in the chicken broth?
Yes, cooking the noodles in the broth will give the noodles more flavor. I would suggest adding broth to another small pot and cooking the noodles in the broth in the small pot separately from the soup. Measure the amount of broth to cook with the noodles per instructions on the pasta box.
Cooking the noodles in the same pot as the soup may lead to overcooked noodles that soaked up too much of the extra broth.
Tips for storing chicken Broth
I recommend storing it in an airtight container and labeling it with the amount of broth. That way when you need broth for a recipe you know exactly how much is in each container. Storing in small containers in one or two-cup increments will come in handy for most recipes.
Always leave room between the liquid and the top of the lid since the liquid expands when frozen. If you are storing soup DO NOT store the noodles in the broth, store them separately. They will soak up all the broth leaving you with hardly any broth and soggy noodles. Nobody wants a soggy noodle.
How long can you store chicken soup?
Chicken soup will last about 3-4 days sealed airtight in the refrigerator and about 4-6 months in the freezer. Don’t let any soup sit too long before you package it up. Pack up leftovers and store them before it cools completely to prevent bacterial growth.
Chicken Soup Recipe
- 1 whole 5-6 lb chicken with skin and bones
- 2 large yellow sweet onions
- 1 whole head of garlic cloves smashed.
- 3 large carrots chopped / 2 cups additional sliced carrots
- 1 batch of celery chopped in half with the leaves / 1-2 cups additional sliced celery
- 5 sprigs of fresh parsley
- 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup dry white wine pinot grigio works well
- 2 tsp salt or more to taste
- Place chicken all ingredients in a large stock pot.
- Fill the pot enough to ensure the chicken is submerged completely with water while leaving a few inches of room from the top of the water line to the top of the pot.
- Turn the burner to medium-high heat and bring it to a boil. As soon as the water reaches a boil reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer.
- While the soup begins to cook you will notice foam on the top edges of the soup. These are impurities that can be skimmed out. Watch the soup closely for the hour and simply skim them out.
- Once you have skimmed the top and no more foam is forming place a lid on the pot and let the soup simmer for 2 hrs on a very low simmer.
- While the soup simmers you can cook the noodles you choose for the soup. Cook per package instructions, drain and set aside until ready to serve.
- After 2 hrs briefly remove from heat and take the chicken out of the pot and place onto a heat-proof plate. Immediately check the temperature of the chicken to ensure it is cooked all the way through. You should get a read of 180 degrees F. in the thigh or 165 degrees F. in the breast.
- Let the chicken cool on the plate. While the chicken is cooling strain the broth with cheesecloth or spider strainer. (see notes)
- Pour strained broth back into the pot and place on low heat, and add the additional sliced carrots and celery.
- While the vegetables are cooking remove the meat from the chicken and cut it into chunks. Add the chicken back into the soup and let simmer with the vegetables.
- At this point, you can add salt and pepper to taste. If you feel the broth needs more seasoning simply add more chopped fresh herbs. I usually throw in 1 or 2 more diced garlic cloves, and sometimes a splash more of white wine.