From America's Test Kitchen
Classic chicken noodle soup is one of the all-time comfort foods. We eat it to nurse a cold or pair it with a simple sandwich for a satisfying meal. But making chicken noodle soup from scratch can take all day. We wanted a simple recipe but we wanted to make it the old-fashioned way—starting with a whole chicken— rather than cheating with store-bought broth.
We began by cutting the chicken into small pieces that could be browned in batches. To develop additional flavor, we sweated the browned pieces in a covered pot with an onion, then simmered them for less than half an hour. Now we had a stock that just needed some salt and a bay leaf to round out its flavor. We reserved some of the skimmed fat from the stock to sauté aromatics for the soup, and we added in tender chicken breast pieces that had already been poached in our stock. With a final sprinkling of fresh tarragon, our chicken noodle soup was complete—rich, homemade broth, moist pieces of chicken, tender vegetables, and perfectly cooked noodles.
Serves 6 to 8