How to Prepare Whole Chicken for Soup

A delicious homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe, cooked from scratch using a whole chicken. This classic dish is prepared by boiling a whole chicken, and you can add any assortment of vegetables, noodles, or pasta to enhance the flavors. Known for its comforting effect, Chicken Soup is undoubtedly the best remedy for a cold!

Overhead photo of Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch (whole chicken) in a bowl, ready to be eaten

Prepare a Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup – Made from Scratch!

When making this hearty soup, the key is to simmer a whole chicken with root vegetables and aromatic herbs to create a rich and flavorful homemade stock. Once the chicken is tender and the vegetables are sautéed, the chicken meat is shredded and added to the soup. This is the traditional way of making Chicken Noodle Soup!

I’m not one to follow food trends, but I do appreciate good food done right. I’ll pass on the foams and cauliflower crust pizzas, thank you! 😂

Pot of Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch with boiled chicken beside it

Preparing the Good Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

Although this recipe involves more steps compared to quick and easy versions, the effort is entirely worth it because the result is a broth that money simply can’t buy!

  1. Simmer (avoid boiling) a whole chicken with flavorful ingredients such as celery, carrot, garlic, peppercorns, and herbs for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours until the chicken meat becomes tender enough to shred effortlessly.
  2. Remove any scum that floats to the surface at least once or twice during the cooking process.
  3. Take out the chicken and the cooked carrot, along with any other vegetables you added.
  4. Shred the chicken, using just under half for this recipe and saving the rest for other dishes.
  5. For an even healthier and clearer broth, refrigerate it so that the fat hardens on the surface, then scoop it off.
  6. Sauté onion, garlic, carrot, and celery slowly to bring out their natural sweetness and intensify the flavors.
  7. Add the homemade broth and noodles. Once the noodles are almost cooked, add the shredded chicken back into the soup just to heat it through.
  8. Serve and enjoy!
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How to make Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch (whole chicken)

Tips for Achieving a Clear Soup Broth

One of the most appealing aspects of a great chicken noodle soup is the clear, transparent broth that bursts with flavor. Here are some tricks to achieve that:

  • Gently simmer the chicken instead of boiling it vigorously, as excessive boiling can result in a murky broth.
  • Remove any scum that rises to the surface during the cooking process.
  • Allow the broth to settle by leaving it undisturbed or refrigerating it overnight. This will cause any remaining sediment to settle at the bottom of the pot. Carefully pour the broth into the soup pot, leaving behind the darker sediment.
  • Avoid browning the sautéed onion, carrots, and celery, as it can darken the broth.
  • Avoid stirring the pasta while it boils, as this can activate the starch in the pasta, making the broth appear cloudier.

Close up of Chicken Noodle Soup from scratch in a pot, ready to be served

Utilizing Leftover Chicken

This Chicken Noodle Soup recipe usually leaves you with more chicken than needed. Here are a few ideas for using the leftover cooked chicken:

  • Chinese Chicken Salad or Thai Chicken Salad
  • White Chicken Enchiladas or Quesadillas (pan-fry the shredded chicken with Quesadilla seasoning)
  • Chinese Fried Rice or try THAI Fried Rice!
  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Make a Chinese Chicken Noodle Soup!
  • Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup or Creamy Chicken Pasta

Feel free to get creative with the vegetables in the soup. While I kept it traditional with just onion, carrots, and celery, you can add your own twist! – Nagi xx

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe Video

Enjoy this recipe video demonstration of homemade chicken noodle soup!

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Originally published May 2017. Updated with new words, new photos, and a better video. Minimal changes were made to streamline the recipe and improve the flavor slightly.

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