Mama's Chicken Soup

Recipe by Halcyon Eve
READY IN: 2hrs 30mins
YIELD: 6 quarts




  • Place chicken in an 8 quart stockpot. Add onion, celery, parsley, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves.
  • Fill pot with water to cover by 2-3 inches. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, skimming foam from surface.
  • Simmer for 1 hour, checking to be sure soup is still simmering and to make sure level doesn't drop too low (if it does, add more cold water, bring back to simmer, and cook a little longer).
  • Remove chicken from soup and let sit, covered, until cool enough to handle; continue simmering soup in the meantime.
  • Remove meat from bones and return bones, skin, etc to soup. Refrigerate chicken meat.
  • Continue simmering soup. Soup may be simmered for another 1/2 hour or so, or may be simmered for a few hours - the time at this point is quite flexible. Just keep checking the broth level now and then; add cold water and return to simmer if it drops too low.
  • Taste and correct seasoning. Strain through a few layers of cheesecloth into a clean stockpot. Discard vegetables and bones. Keep broth hot while you prepare the desired starch.
  • If using potatoes, peel and cube and simmer until tender. Place some potato chunks and chicken meat into bowls and ladle hot broth over.
  • If using rice, cook rice according to package directions. Place some rice and chicken meat into bowls and ladle hot broth over.
  • If using noodles, cook according to package directions and drain well. Place some noodles and chicken meat into bowls and ladle hot broth over.
  • This soup may be defatted if you make it in advance, cool quickly in an ice bath, and chill in the refrigerator. Once chilled, the fat will solidify on the surface and may be skimmed off. At this point, the broth may be frozen for later use (with or without meat, and without potatoes or rice), or it may be heated and served.