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Test Kitchen's Favorite Chicken Noodle Soup


Ask your butcher to cut a chicken into pieces and give you the backbone -- it makes for a richer broth.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6
chicken soup

Photography: Armando Rafael

Source: Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2017


  • 1 whole chicken (4 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces with the backbone, plus 8 extra wings (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 large sprigs parsley
  • 2 large sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, plus freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
  • 1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds (1 cup)
  • 1/2 stalk celery, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (1/2 cup)
  • 6 ounces cooked egg noodles
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Fill a large pot with 14 cups water, chicken pieces, backbone, wings, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Skim foam, reduce heat, and gently simmer for 25 minutes. Remove chicken (except wings); continue simmering while you discard skin and remove meat from bones. Cover meat and refrigerate; return bones to pot and simmer 3 1/2 hours more.

  2. Strain broth through a fine-mesh sieve and discard solids, including bones and wings. Skim fat and transfer broth to a clean pot. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until vegetables are very tender, 25 minutes.

  3. Cut or tear reserved chicken into 3 cups of bite-size pieces. (You'll end up with an extra cup of meat; save it for a salad or a sandwich.) Add to broth, along with noodles, dill, and lemon juice. Heat through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; serve.

Cook's Notes

The chicken and broth can be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate separately in covered containers, then proceed to finish the soup. If making ahead, refrigerate the broth at least overnight to allow the fat to accumulate at the top, then lift off with a spoon before proceeding.

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