This recipe feeds a crowd. My stockpot holds 20 quarts, so I usually double this. If your pot isn’t that big, you’re going to want to scale this back, or save the very tasty broth for another occasion. Since I’m a coupon blogger and not a recipe blogger, you might want to read the whole recipe first. 🙂 This is what a 20 quart pot looks like – it doesn’t even fit into my camera’s view. If I were to buy chicken broth in this quantity, it would easily cost me $20 on sale or $40 if not. For the batch I started, I spent $.42 on onions, $.80 on carrots, $1 on celery, $1 on garlic, $.67 for allspice, $.50 for peppercorns, and $2.30 on chicken. That’s $6.69, and I know exactly what’s in my pot.
1 whole chicken – can be frozen solid
1/4 cup whole peppercorns
1/4 cup whole allspice
1 head of garlic, cloves separated.
1 medium onion, cut into 1/8s. Do not peel. The yellow skin will add color to the broth naturally.
1 lb of carrots, washed but not peeled.
1 bunch of celery, chopped into 4″ pieces, including tops and leaves.
Splash of vinegar (extracts calcium from the bones)
Water to cover
Throw everything into your largest pot. Heat on high till almost boiling, then turn to low and forget about it for a while. This is an all-day recipe. Add more water if needed. About an hour before serving, take the chicken out and salvage any meat. If my chicken is defrosted, I take the breasts off and save for another use, or for the soup itself. You’re not going to want to use this meat for the soup unless you really like chicken that has no taste and flavor. 🙂 You can always use it for chicken salad, though.
Strain the stock through doubled cheesecloth into your second largest pot, using a colander. Discard any solids – they have done their duty. You can strain again until it gets as clear as you prefer. We like a clearer soup, so I usually end up straining at least twice.
Return stock to largest pot.
1.5 lbs chicken breast, cut into 1″ pieces
1 lb of baby carrots, cut into bite size pieces
4 celery stalks, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 lb egg noodles, or twirly pasta, or whatever you have.
Salt & Pepper
Start water boiling for egg noodles – cook separately from broth. Start cooking carrots in broth. When carrots are about half done, add chicken and celery, plus seasoning as needed. There is NO salt so far, so season it to your taste. Go easy on the pepper because a little goes a long way in soup. I add egg noodles to everyone’s portion separately, because otherwise they will overcook and get icky by the second day. If it lasts that long.
This is my husband’s favorite meal. It’s a very forgiving recipe, as most of mine are. If you’re not cooking for a huge crowd, you can do the stock in the crockpot the night before. You can freeze it for use in other recipes. Much cheaper than buying cans or packages, and you know what’s in it, too. Most of the time, commercial preparations have too much salt for our tastes, so I make stock pretty frequently in the winter.