Chicken Stock And Chicken Noodle Soup
- One 3 to 4-pound chicken, whole or in parts
- 1 large onion, cut in half
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 3 large carrots, 1 whole, 2 chopped
- 3 large celery stalks, 1 whole, 2 chopped; leaves reserved for garnish
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs fresh parsley, optional
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound small pasta like shells, orzo, or broken angel hair
- Combine the chicken, onion, garlic, whole carrot, whole celery stalk, bay leaves, and parsley in a stockpot.
- Add 8 cups water.
- Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so that the liquid bubbles but steadily.
- Cover and cook, stirring every 15 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked, 30 to 40 minutes for parts, 50 to 60 minutes for a whole one.
- If necessary, add water to keep the chicken submerged.
- To check for doneness, use a slotted spoon or tongs to lift out some chicken and pierce it.
- The meat should be white and maybe starting to fall off in places.
- Carefully transfer the chicken from the pot to a bowl with tongs.
- When it's cool enough to handle, pull off and discard the skin; pull the meat off the bones and cut it into bite-sized pieces.
- Reserve 2 cups for the soup and refrigerate the rest for another use.
- Put a strainer or colander over a pot and pour in the stock; press down on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible, then discard them.
- Skim the fat off the top to get 7 cups; if less, add some water.
- Sprinkle the stock with salt and pepper.
- Put the pot over medium-high heat.
- Bring it just to a boil, then lower the heat so that the liquid bubbles steadily.
- Add the chopped carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
- Stir in the pasta and the reserved 2 cups chicken; adjust the heat so the mixture bubbles steadily and keep cooking another 5 to 10 minutes.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning, garnish with the reserved celery leaves, and serve.