Here is my method:
5-ish pounds chicken wings (I find that the bones hold the flavor - wings have a high bone ratio.) I have read about people using a whole bird or other cuts of meat... I wouldn't bother. Unless you were using a carcass - & even then I still don't get the flavor profile that I get from the wings. You could make an argument for using necks.
2 medium onions, quartered (You don't even have to peel them.)
Another small onion to serve with the soup if you like
2 small carrots, halved (or a hand full of those baby carrots)
another carrot to serve with the soup if you like
2 celery stalks, halved
4 rinsed and dried fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs (I use the whole packet)
2 rinsed and dried fresh thyme sprigs (I use the whole packet)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Rinse the chicken wings.
Put them in a stockpot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches.
Bring the mixture just to a boil over high heat, skimming and discarding the surface skim with a slotted spoon. (Make sure that you do not get a hard boil - that will mix the scum & make a cloudy soup/stock)
Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, skimming frequently, for 20 minutes.
Add the onions, carrots, celery, parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns; simmer for 2 1/2 hours.
Strain the stock and skim off all the fat that rises to the surface.
Return the stock to the pot and simmer until reduced by one third, about 30 minutes.
Discard the vegetables & herbs. (Honestly, they have done their job - we will be cooking some more carrots to serve with the soup soon.)
Set the chicken aside to allow it to cool slightly.
When I go through the effort, I freeze some of this stock/soup, so I first set aside the portion that we will be eating immediately, I then put the rest into "individual" sized containers - @ 2 cups - what ever is on hand...
I pick the meat out of the chicken wings - I get about 2 cups of meat.
I use some of this in the immediate chicken soup meal the rest is reserved to be made into chicken salad, or to be put onto a green salad.
At this time, I boil egg noodles in water for about 6 minutes. & I boil a carrot that has been cut into bite sized pieces with a roughly chopped onion (I would throw in a chopped celery stalk as well, but my husband does not care for the celery, so it is only in the stock & discarded.) until the carrot is tender.
I make a layerd soup to serve & you can do this ahead...
split the noodles between your bowls (I do this after draining them so that if they stick to aything it will be bowl & not the pot.) do the same with your carrots (I scoop out the carrots & do not worry about the carrot cooking water being added to the soup bowls. Add some chicken to the bowls, then ladle the soup/stock on top.
When I use frozen stock - like last night. & a cold chicken breast - like last night. I heat the chopped chicken in the stock.
Last night, I did not right away get the baby because I wanted to make an apple cake. While the cake was baking, I cooked & served the noodles & cooked & served the vegetables, so that when I got home I only had to chop the leftover chicken breast & heat it in the soup. I then ladled the chicken & stock over the veggies & noodles.
YUM - not that I feel that much better today that I did yesterday, but the soup was a nice respit from the rain.
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