Chicken Soup Base

This is the base for the ultimate comfort food in wintertime... or any time you might be feeling sick.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6

Photography: Standard

Source: Everyday Food, January/February 2012


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds chicken parts, such as necks and backs
  • 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds), rinsed
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into pieces
  • 3 celery stalks, cut into pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 5 stems parsley


  1. In a 10- or 12-quart stockpot, heat oil over high. Add chicken parts and cook, turning frequently, until browned on all sides, 15 minutes.

  2. Pour out fat. Add whole chicken, carrots, celery, onion, peppercorns, parsley, and enough cold water to cover ingredients by 1/2 inch (about 12 cups).

  3. Bring to a boil over high. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, 40 minutes, skimming fat and foam and flipping chicken once.

  4. Transfer whole chicken to rimmed baking sheet and let cool, about 10 minutes.

  5. Pour liquid through a paper-towel-lined sieve into a large bowl (you should have 10 cups broth). Discard vegetables and chicken parts.

  6. Shred chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding skin and bones (you should have 4 cups meat).

Cook's Notes

Refrigerate broth and shredded chicken in separate airtight containers, up to 3 days. If desired, freeze broth up to 3 months.


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