- 3 lb of chicken breast or thighs (whichever you prefer or have on hand)
- 2 medium onions
- 14 cups of water
- 2 heads of garlic
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 celery stalks
- 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- your choice of noodles
Preferably, your chicken parts should still have the bones and skin on, but if you only have the deboned ones, it is okay. After ensuring the meat is clean, including any tiny residual feathers that could be attached to the skin, you should add it to the pot with a few generous pinches of salt and peppercorns and cover it with water. Put the pan on medium-high heat and let it reach a simmer, making sure to skim the foam that may rise to the top.
In the meantime, peel and cut your onions in quarters. Then peel your carrots, chopping two of them into small pieces and the other two roughly. Do the same with your celery sticks, dividing them equally. Cut your garlic heads in half crosswise to expose all the meat inside.
After your chicken has simmered away for about 10 minutes, add the two roughly chopped carrots, onions, two roughly cut celery sticks, and garlic heads to the pot. Let them boil together for another 15 to 20 minutes or until everything is well cooked.
Remove your meat and leave your vegetables to continue simmering in the pot. If you are using meat with skin, this is when you should discard it and take the bones out of the meat before returning it to the pot as well.
If you are only using chicken breast, you should not return the meat to the pot at this point, but rather shred it with two forks and put it to the side. Leave the rest of your soup to simmer for an extra 40 minutes, skimming any extra fat you see gathering on the top from time to time.
Drain your soup after the 40 minutes are up and discard everything but the meat (if you were using chicken thighs). Put the broth back on the stove and bring it to a boil, then add back your remaining carrots and celery sticks, together with your shredded meat. Boil for an additional 5 minutes until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
We suggest you boil your noodles and add them to the soup before serving rather than add all of them to the finished soup, as they will soak up all your broth. Serve topped with a little freshly ground pepper and parsley, if desired.