3quarts(12 cups) good-quality chicken stock or brothstore-bought OR homemade
8ouncesuncooked egg noodles
1/4cupminced fresh parsley leavesplus additional for garnish
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Arrange chicken pieces in the bottom of a large soup pot. Add julienned carrots, garlic, Italian seasoning, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. Carefully pour chicken stock over the top. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken pieces and bring the soup to a boil. Add the noodles and parsley and cook according to package directions. In the meantime, pull the chicken from the bones and shred or cut into chunks. Discard the skin and bones.
After the noodles are done, return the chicken meat to the pot, stir in a big squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Serve hot, garnished with additional fresh parsley, if desired.
I prefer making this soup with skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs for the best flavor and nourishment. All skin and bones get discarded before serving. You may also use boneless, skinless chicken pieces (including all or some boneless skinless chicken breasts), if you prefer, but keep in mind that white meat will be drier. Also, if you use different chicken pieces, the cooking time may need to be adjusted accordingly.
When I make homemade chicken soup, I like to buy "homemade" or "homestyle" egg noodles (which can be found near the regular brands of dried pasta). Refrigerated or frozen egg noodles are also yummy. These options just taste a little fresher and closer to homemade than regular dried pasta, adding a nice touch in this type of soup.
The amount of salt required will depend on the saltiness of your chicken stock. If your chicken stock is particularly salty, you may not want to add any salt at the beginning of the recipe...wait until the chicken is finished cooking and then, if necessary, add 1/4 teaspoon salt at a time (tasting in between additions) until just right.