We are a bit sick so I spent the day making chicken soup to help everyone out. I made this from scratch since all the ones at the store have way to much salt and preservatives. I roasted the vegetables and the chicken bones to improve flavors. This step is optional but tasty.
Chicken Soup from Scratch
1 whole fryer chicken
4 stalks celery
2 medium onions
1 head garlic
2 Tbsp peppercorns
2 bay leaves
About 1/2 lbs of small pasta like rotinni or elbow noodles
enough water to cover ingredients
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Finely chop the narrow ends of celery, you want about 1/2 cup of celery and reserve for the soup. Coarsely chop the rest of the celery for the stock.
Finely chop one of the carrots for about 1/2 cup of carrot and reserve for the soup. Coarsely chop the rest for the stock.
Finely chop enough of the onion for about 1 cup of onion and reserve for the soup, and coarsely chop the rest for the stock.
Finely chop 4-6 cloves of garlic for the soup, and break up the rest of the head for the stock.
Cut up the chicken, into wings, legs, back and breasts. Remove the skin and ribs from the breast. Dice the breast and reserve for the soup. Put it in a plastic bag and refrigerate until we are ready to make the soup.
Put the chicken, and vegetables on a roasting pan and cook until the vegetables begin to brown. About 20 minutes. This step is optional but it does provide an extra flavorful stock in the end.
Transfer everything to a large pot, about 8 qt sized, and add the peppercorns and bay leaves. Add enough water to cover by about an inch. Up here in Colorado a lot of water will evaporate, by if you are in someplace with lots of humidity, like Georgia, you probably won't need so much.
Simmer on low until the wish bone or other small bone like the wing become brittle, about 4 hours. That means much of the gelatin in the bones has been liberated.
Remove the bones vegetables and herbs and discard they have given all they have to the stock. Now you have chicken stock. You can strain it through a fine mesh strainer or a colander with some cheese cloth in it, but that is not necessary for this application.
In a new pot, about 2 qt sized, place the diced chicken and vegetables, and the noodles. Add enough stock to cover and a little bit more as the pasta will absorb quite a bit. Cook until the pasta is tender and chicken is cooked through. Salt and Pepper to taste. If you are sick you'll want more seasoning then usually, as you can't smell very well.