The key to the success of many dishes lies in the chicken stock. While I often use canned stock in my cooking endeavors, only homemade stock will do when it comes to chicken noodle soup.–Keely
- whole chicken, innards removed
- 4-6 carrots
- 2 large onions, one stuck with 2 cloves
- 2 ribs celery
- 1 leek
- bouquet garni (12 parsley stems, 8 peppercorns, 6 sprigs fresh thyme, ¼ tsp fennel seeds, 1 bay leaf) tied in a double thickness of cheesecloth
- pinch of salt
Peel carrots and chop in 2-3 big pieces each. Chop celery into 2-3 big pieces each. Using the white and dark green leaves of the leek, half lengthwise and rinse well.
Place chicken in a stockpot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, skim to remove the stuff that rises to the surface. When the broth is clear, add the remaining ingredients. Return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer gently for 2 hours.
Cool stock. Remove chicken (when cool enough to handle, save chicken meat for later use). Remove large pieces of vegetables and bouquet garni. Strain stock by pouring through colander lined with cheesecloth. Refrigerate stock overnight. Before using (or freezing), remove fat that accumulates on surface.