Boiling the chicken for this classic favorite produces soft, tender meat that melts in your mouth. This is a hearty soup, filled with large pieces of shredded chicken, thick cut vegetables, and a rich, savory flavor. This recipe also freezes wonderfully, so go ahead and cook the entire thing!


  • 1chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), cleaned
  • 1 1/2onions, 1 coarsely chopped and 1/2 diced
  • 5celery stalks, 2 coarsely chopped and 3 sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 5carrots, 2 coarsely chopped and 3 sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 2bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme (or 3 tablespoons dried thyme)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Egg noodles (or rice)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large stock pot, combine chicken, chopped onion, chopped celery, chopped carrot, garlic, peppercorn, bay leaves, and thyme, and cover with water so chicken is fully submerged. Bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat for 30 minutes.
  2. Remove chicken and transfer to a plate. Remove and discard skin. Using forks, pull all meat off bones. Transfer to a plate and refrigerate while you finish preparing soup.
  3. Return all chicken bones to pot and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Strain stock through a fine mesh strainer. Rinse out stock pot. Discard solids and return stock to pot.
  5. Bring stock to a boil, and cook for about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. In the final 10 minutes of the stock cooking, add remaining onion, celery, and carrots.
  7. In a separate pot, cook egg noodles until al dente. Add chicken and egg noodles to soup. Adjust seasoning, if necessary.