Best Chicken Soup

Best Chicken Soup Recipe

I know this is a mighty lofty thing to say about a humble soup I came up with while sick, but sniffles or not, this is the best chicken soup recipe… ever! There, I said it, because if ever there was something to stake my reputation on, this here chicken soup would be it, and that’s not the NyQuil talking.

Beyond its curative abilities, chicken soup isn’t something I normally crave. If I’m lucky to have the time to make it from scratch, the meat often ends up dry and stringy by the time the broth is ready, and while I could find a butcher that will sell me chicken bones separately, I don’t really have the will or the energy to look for chicken carcasses when I feel the plague setting in. I know there’s always the canned variety, but eating that musty, watered-down chicken liquid is a bit like fighting Ebola with Echinacea.

I can’t guarantee that this chicken soup will miraculously cure your cold, but it will soothe your inner foodie, with the kind of lingering umami that will have you smacking your lips long after you’ve slurped the last spoonful of the heavenly clear broth. The chicken, carrots, and avocado add a splash of colour to your dreary day, while the variety of flavours and textures they provide titillate your senses at a time when applesauce feels like all you can stomach.

What do you like to eat when you’re sick?

When your home from work sick, you may lack energy, but I’m going to guess you make up for that in time. That’s why this recipe is so perfect. It takes a bit of time to make, but beyond some minimal chopping and dumping, this chicken soup requires almost no effort; and for that, you’re rewarded with a dreamy clear broth and chicken so moist you’d swear it was cooked separately.

The secret lies in the gentle poaching of the chicken, followed by the removal of the meat and simmering of the bones until the soup is full of flavour. I’ve given this a vaguely Latin American twist, but you could have fun with it and make it more Asian by adding ginger and ginseng, or more European with some fresh thyme and rosemary instead of cilantro.

So if you feel the dreaded flu coming on, get thee to the grocery store and find the best quality organic chicken you can, because getting sick sucks, but getting sick with a bowl of this chicken soup to awaken your taste buds and nourish your belly, will make it suck just a little bit less.

Best Chicken Soup

1 whole 3-4lbs chicken
1 medium onion cut into wedges
3 cloves garlic smashed with flat side of knife
2 stalks celery leaves and stems chopped
Stems and roots from 1 bunch of cilantro
2 bay laurel leaves (or 1 california bay leaf)
1 Tbs kosher salt

2 carrots, each cut into 2-3 large pieces
1 avocado
cilantro and lime for serving

Put the chicken in a stock pot just big enough to hold it. Scatter the onion, garlic, celery, cilantro, bay leaves and salt around the chicken. Cover the chicken with water, put a lid on the pot, and bring it to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling for 5 minutes. Then, turn off the heat, allowing the chicken to poach in the water for 45 minutes (don’t open the lid during this time).

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the stock and allow it to cool off enough to touch. Remove and discard the skin, then strip the meat off the bones into bite size pieces. Cover the chicken and refrigerate until the soup is done.

Return the bones back into the stock pot along with any collected juices from the chicken. Cover, and return the soup to a boil. When it boils, turn down the heat and simmer for 3 hours.

Strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve and discard the solids. Skim off any excess oil then add the soup back to the pot along with the carrots. Cook the carrots until tender and salt the soup to taste.

To serve, put down some chicken, carrots and avocado in a bowl. Pour the hot stock over everything and garnish with cilantro and a wedge of lime.

  • http://tiffanybbrown.com/ tiffany

    add some onion and hominy and this would almost be a chicken pozole.

    • Patricia

      Isn’t there already an onion in the recipe? I do agree adding hominy or homemade noodles to it!

  • http://tiffanybbrown.com/ tiffany

    add some onion and hominy and this would almost be a chicken pozole.

    • Patricia

      Isn’t there already an onion in the recipe? I do agree adding hominy or homemade noodles to it!

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com/ katiek @kitchensidecar

    that’s a pretty lofty assertion – best ever…

    It looks like what my dad drinks after boiling a chicken ( like hainan style rice broth). The clearness of the broth attests to the quality of your stock.

    Have you tried double boiling like they do in china? Those are some of the best soups I have ever tasted.

  • http://kitchensidecar.blogspot.com katiek @kitchensidecar

    that’s a pretty lofty assertion – best ever…

    It looks like what my dad drinks after boiling a chicken ( like hainan style rice broth). The clearness of the broth attests to the quality of your stock.

    Have you tried double boiling like they do in china? Those are some of the best soups I have ever tasted.

  • http://noobcook.com/ noobcook

    ultimate comfort food, the soup looks light & clear yet rich. and the avocado is such a special touch. I can have this everyday, not just when I’m sick ;)

  • http://noobcook.com noobcook

    ultimate comfort food, the soup looks light & clear yet rich. and the avocado is such a special touch. I can have this everyday, not just when I’m sick ;)

  • http://www.phamfatale.com/ Jackie at PhamFatale.com

    As with many staple dishes, attention to detail is the difference between drab and delicious. Your chicken broth looks perfect, clear and I’m sure so flavorful.

  • http://www.phamfatale.com/ Jackie at PhamFatale.com

    As with many staple dishes, attention to detail is the difference between drab and delicious. Your chicken broth looks perfect, clear and I’m sure so flavorful.

  • http://shewhoeats.blogspot.com/ chika

    Hi Marc,

    As a born-and-bred Japanese, my ultimate go-to food when feeling under the weather definitely is rice porridge. That aside, your chicken soup sounds comforting and looks downright beautiful. And I love it how you have avocado in it! I’ve never tried it in a soup except for chilled ones, purreed… but I’m now tempted to try this way and I don’t have to wait until I start feeling sick, I reckon :)

    Hope you are feeling all better now!

  • http://shewhoeats.blogspot.com/ chika

    Hi Marc,

    As a born-and-bred Japanese, my ultimate go-to food when feeling under the weather definitely is rice porridge. That aside, your chicken soup sounds comforting and looks downright beautiful. And I love it how you have avocado in it! I’ve never tried it in a soup except for chilled ones, purreed… but I’m now tempted to try this way and I don’t have to wait until I start feeling sick, I reckon :)

    Hope you are feeling all better now!

  • http://colloquialcooking.com/ Colloquial Cook

    I don’t really care what I eat when I’m sick so long as someone makes it for me :-D
    So sorry to read you’re unwell! Get better soon! I’m ok so far but with all those sputtering students I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • http://colloquialcooking.com Colloquial Cook

    I don’t really care what I eat when I’m sick so long as someone makes it for me :-D
    So sorry to read you’re unwell! Get better soon! I’m ok so far but with all those sputtering students I wouldn’t bet on it.

  • http://www.shesimmers.com/ Leela@SheSimmers

    Ah, so the trick is in removing the meat from the bones before it turns dry and stringy. Thanks for the tips, Marc. Your chicken soup looks perfect!

  • http://www.shesimmers.com Leela@SheSimmers

    Ah, so the trick is in removing the meat from the bones before it turns dry and stringy. Thanks for the tips, Marc. Your chicken soup looks perfect!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com/ Manggy

    Would you believe, I go for chicken noodle soup and a burger? Ha ha ha. I hope you’re feeling much better Marc- that soup looks like it could do the trick!

  • http://manggy.blogspot.com Manggy

    Would you believe, I go for chicken noodle soup and a burger? Ha ha ha. I hope you’re feeling much better Marc- that soup looks like it could do the trick!

  • Joanna

    Oh gosh, when I am sick a bowl of chicken soup is pretty much all I crave. I’ll have to try this method, love the idea of removing the meat before it turns dry and mushy.

    I grew up with my mom’s (Jewish) chicken soup, which has parsley and lots of dill as the herbs, plus parsnip. It’s the ultimate comfort food for me – especially with matzah balls. Yum!

  • Joanna

    Oh gosh, when I am sick a bowl of chicken soup is pretty much all I crave. I’ll have to try this method, love the idea of removing the meat before it turns dry and mushy.

    I grew up with my mom’s (Jewish) chicken soup, which has parsley and lots of dill as the herbs, plus parsnip. It’s the ultimate comfort food for me – especially with matzah balls. Yum!

  • http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/ Hélène

    Oh my this looks good. My son has been sick for a while, I should prepare this soup for him.

  • http://helene-lacuisine.blogspot.com/ Hélène

    Oh my this looks good. My son has been sick for a while, I should prepare this soup for him.

  • http://duodishes.com/ The Duo Dishes

    Very deconstructed! Even if you’re not sick, this is a good thing to snack on. Drinking a nice veggie broth in the morning can knock out sniffles too.

  • http://duodishes.com The Duo Dishes

    Very deconstructed! Even if you’re not sick, this is a good thing to snack on. Drinking a nice veggie broth in the morning can knock out sniffles too.

  • http://www.choebrothers.com/ alecho

    with avocado?! that’s freakin’ cool, man! I gotta try this best chicken soup! here I come to cook!!!!

  • http://www.choebrothers.com alecho

    with avocado?! that’s freakin’ cool, man! I gotta try this best chicken soup! here I come to cook!!!!

  • http://staceysnacksonline.com/ Stacey Snacks

    I am sick with a miserable cold…..probably caught on an airplane.
    I made white bean soup with pan fried salami, but your Jewish penicillin sure looks better to me!

    I love chicken soup when I am sick, especially made by my grandmother!

    Feel better.

  • http://staceysnacksonline.com Stacey Snacks

    I am sick with a miserable cold…..probably caught on an airplane.
    I made white bean soup with pan fried salami, but your Jewish penicillin sure looks better to me!

    I love chicken soup when I am sick, especially made by my grandmother!

    Feel better.

  • http://www.whiskblog.com/ Shari

    I love the addition of avocado and cilantro! Hope you feel better!

  • http://www.whiskblog.com/ Shari

    I love the addition of avocado and cilantro! Hope you feel better!

  • http://foodhappens.blogspot.com/ lo

    Just made some chicken stock myself the other day — with an Asian flair. But, this looks awesome. Avocado makes everything better, right? :)

    How’s the cold?

  • http://foodhappens.blogspot.com lo

    Just made some chicken stock myself the other day — with an Asian flair. But, this looks awesome. Avocado makes everything better, right? :)

    How’s the cold?

  • http://baconandrhubarb.blogspot.com/ Rachel (S[d]OC)

    It seems I”m not the only food blogger suffering from a cold. I’m enjoying seeing a few chicken soup recipes to help me get through this creeping crud. It’s as if I’m getting inspriation from the gods by reading food blogs on a sick day. I never thought to use avocados in chicken soup.

    Every time I roast a whole chicken I save the carcasses in the freezer. I also freeze old leftover veggies. That way when I have some free time, I can boil it all down for stock. I make quite a bit of it and freeze whatever I don’t use immediately. I consider it very thrifty of me.

  • http://baconandrhubarb.blogspot.com Rachel (S[d]OC)

    It seems I”m not the only food blogger suffering from a cold. I’m enjoying seeing a few chicken soup recipes to help me get through this creeping crud. It’s as if I’m getting inspriation from the gods by reading food blogs on a sick day. I never thought to use avocados in chicken soup.

    Every time I roast a whole chicken I save the carcasses in the freezer. I also freeze old leftover veggies. That way when I have some free time, I can boil it all down for stock. I make quite a bit of it and freeze whatever I don’t use immediately. I consider it very thrifty of me.

  • http://cheffresco.com/ Cheffresco

    I am so sick right now too! no fun. I totally need this soup!

  • http://cheffresco.com Cheffresco

    I am so sick right now too! no fun. I totally need this soup!

  • http://blog.inomthings.com/ ila

    avocado in chicken soup!? that’s friggin GENIOUS!

  • http://blog.inomthings.com ila

    avocado in chicken soup!? that’s friggin GENIOUS!

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com/ Jan

    Lovely looking soup! Great pictures too as always.

  • http://www.whatdoiwant2cooktoday.blogspot.com Jan

    Lovely looking soup! Great pictures too as always.

  • http://www.chocolateshavings.ca/ chocolate shavings

    That dish almost makes me want to be sick!

  • http://www.chocolateshavings.ca chocolate shavings

    That dish almost makes me want to be sick!

  • http://www.whatmegansmaking.blogspot.com/ megan

    what a good idea. for some reason i never thought to poach the chicken, then simmer the bones! i always just simmer the whole thing for a couple hours. i’ll try this next time i make soup – thanks.

  • http://www.whatmegansmaking.blogspot.com megan

    what a good idea. for some reason i never thought to poach the chicken, then simmer the bones! i always just simmer the whole thing for a couple hours. i’ll try this next time i make soup – thanks.

  • http://www.umamimart.com/ Ryohei

    Marc, what happened to the recipe Daisy mentioned at JS program? I know it’s not visually appealing, but I want someone to go through that process, and I bet you are the one who can justify.

  • http://www.umamimart.com Ryohei

    Marc, what happened to the recipe Daisy mentioned at JS program? I know it’s not visually appealing, but I want someone to go through that process, and I bet you are the one who can justify.

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    The broth alone is beautiful, but it’s the veg garnishes that make it stunning.

    I make my chicken soup the same way, generally starting w/a whole chicken cut up. Poaching in my previous batch of chicken stock, cutting the meat off the bone and then throwing the bones back in to simmer forever in the double-ish strength stock. Makes a soup so full of gelatin that it sets up like an aspic in the fridge. And I have to credit you with adding a shot of fish sauce these days–that punch of umami puts it in a whole new category of tasty!

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    The broth alone is beautiful, but it’s the veg garnishes that make it stunning.

    I make my chicken soup the same way, generally starting w/a whole chicken cut up. Poaching in my previous batch of chicken stock, cutting the meat off the bone and then throwing the bones back in to simmer forever in the double-ish strength stock. Makes a soup so full of gelatin that it sets up like an aspic in the fridge. And I have to credit you with adding a shot of fish sauce these days–that punch of umami puts it in a whole new category of tasty!

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    PS I hope you’re feeling better, Marc:)

  • http://onlinepastrychef.wordpress.com/ Jenni

    PS I hope you’re feeling better, Marc:)

  • http://www.sugarbar.org/ diva

    avocado in chicken soup? interesting! but bet it was a massive pickup for u. hope u’re feeling much better now. x

  • http://www.sugarbar.org diva

    avocado in chicken soup? interesting! but bet it was a massive pickup for u. hope u’re feeling much better now. x

  • http://www.honeyfromrock.blogspot.com/ Claudia

    Marc, hope you’re well really soon. I’ve saved the recipe so someone else can make it for me when I’m sick. I figure since I cook the rest of the time, that’s when a husband, daughter, granddaughter or grandson can step up to the plate.

  • http://www.honeyfromrock.blogspot.com Claudia

    Marc, hope you’re well really soon. I’ve saved the recipe so someone else can make it for me when I’m sick. I figure since I cook the rest of the time, that’s when a husband, daughter, granddaughter or grandson can step up to the plate.

  • http://frantasticfood.com/ Fran

    I make sure to keep at least one container of home made chicken soup (Kosher Penicillin) in the freezer at all times to ward off The Plague. It’s what 12qt. stock pots with strainer were created for, right? That along with a box of Saltines and Ginger Ale is my “remedy” if the dreaded Ebola hits.

    Your soup looks wonderful with avocado in it. Nice touch.

  • http://frantasticfood.com Fran

    I make sure to keep at least one container of home made chicken soup (Kosher Penicillin) in the freezer at all times to ward off The Plague. It’s what 12qt. stock pots with strainer were created for, right? That along with a box of Saltines and Ginger Ale is my “remedy” if the dreaded Ebola hits.

    Your soup looks wonderful with avocado in it. Nice touch.

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com/ Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Ooh, genius. I like that the ingredient list is very short and simple. Just the thing to navigate with a fuzzy head. Looks gorgeous. Have never tried avocado in soup before – I tend to keep my avocado chilly rather than warm. It does look pretty though…hope you’re feeling better soon, surely something this good can help fight it!

  • http://www.hungryandfrozen.blogspot.com Laura @ Hungry and Frozen

    Ooh, genius. I like that the ingredient list is very short and simple. Just the thing to navigate with a fuzzy head. Looks gorgeous. Have never tried avocado in soup before – I tend to keep my avocado chilly rather than warm. It does look pretty though…hope you’re feeling better soon, surely something this good can help fight it!

  • Julie

    Ok…when I get the flu or my next cold I am making this soup! It looks like chicken soup I *could* eat!

    • Advkapoor

      i  will also

  • Julie

    Ok…when I get the flu or my next cold I am making this soup! It looks like chicken soup I *could* eat!

  • http://www.foodgal.com/ Carolyn Jung

    It’s definitely chicken soup weather. You can already feel the chill in the air. I’d much enjoy this soup whether I was ailing or not. ;)

  • http://www.foodgal.com Carolyn Jung

    It’s definitely chicken soup weather. You can already feel the chill in the air. I’d much enjoy this soup whether I was ailing or not. ;)

  • bootbot

    i always thought that i had perfected (and improved upon) my grandmother’s matzah ball chicken soup, until i tried your idea of poaching the chicken. what a fantastic idea! the chicken was tender and not chalky

  • bootbot

    i always thought that i had perfected (and improved upon) my grandmother’s matzah ball chicken soup, until i tried your idea of poaching the chicken. what a fantastic idea! the chicken was tender and not chalky

  • http://www.arthritistreatmentlab.com/ Kent

    Chicken Soup is one of my favorite dishes of all time. it is very tasty and the ingredients are very available. sometimes i put a dash of chili over my chicken soup because i like it spicy hot.

  • http://www.arthritistreatmentlab.com Kent

    Chicken Soup is one of my favorite dishes of all time. it is very tasty and the ingredients are very available. sometimes i put a dash of chili over my chicken soup because i like it spicy hot.

  • http://www.deviantart.com/ Murasaki-Mary

    I’m drooling! >w< This looks great. =D

  • http://www.deviantart.com Murasaki-Mary

    I’m drooling! >w< This looks great. =D

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  • http://gourmettraveller.wordpress.com/ gourmet traveller

    Chicken soup is definitely my go-to meal when feeling poorly. I usually make a chinese chicken broth or a chicken noodle soup, the recipe for which is quite similar to yours – with the addition of noodles of course! Your use of avocado does intrigue me…I may give it a go next time I’m under the weather.

  • http://gourmettraveller.wordpress.com gourmet traveller

    Chicken soup is definitely my go-to meal when feeling poorly. I usually make a chinese chicken broth or a chicken noodle soup, the recipe for which is quite similar to yours – with the addition of noodles of course! Your use of avocado does intrigue me…I may give it a go next time I’m under the weather.

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  • http://homechineserecipes.com/ Chinese Food Recipes

    Wow, the cooking way of this dish is great, I’ll try it later and I hope it tastes delicious. Just one suggestion: If you add some cooking pictures it will be easier to follow!

  • http://homechineserecipes.com/ Chinese Food Recipes

    Wow, the cooking way of this dish is great, I’ll try it later and I hope it tastes delicious. Just one suggestion: If you add some cooking pictures it will be easier to follow!

  • Amanda

    thank you so much for this recipe. it is perfect! great job.

  • Amanda

    thank you so much for this recipe. it is perfect! great job.

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  • nicole98

    nice iam 12 years old and needed a recipe to cook on mothers day for my mom and this is good and easy

  • norecipes

    Good luck, let me know how it goes:-)

  • foodluverrrrr

    the chicken soup with avocado is random i dont see how that goes with the soup

    • http://www.facebook.com/jorge.clar Jorge Clar

      Where I’m from (Puerto Rico), avocado slices are the natural garnish for ALL soups…nothing random there…

  • norecipes

    It adds color, body, and richness to the soup. Try it out, it's good.

    • Paleo diet follower

      And It’s very healthy.

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  • Grisito69

    So far it’s looking amazing. I did add a pinch each of Coriander, Cumin, Cayenne Pepper, Curry, Sweet Brown Sugar to taste as well as added 1 cup of cooked Brown Rice at the end.

    Finally found that Chicken Soup recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  • Fire777a

    Seems like a lot of work to me. Most recipes use a whole bloomin chicken, how about some recipes for less than 10 people.

  • foodie

    Looks wonderful! How many servings would this make?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      For dinner it would probably feed 4 people with bread. For smaller
      portions you could probably get 6-8 peoples worth out of this.

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  • Josephineliza

    Delicious! I prepared this today for my sick family.

  • Nhurst

    Marc, I saw you on Chopped and wanted to find your website when I heard you say you didn’t use recipes but I thought I could learn some kitchen basics and how tos from you.  I really really like your website and I’m going to bookmark it so I can try all these fantastic ideas.  It’s like a chef teaching me at my own discretion.  Thanks.

  • Nhurst

    Marc, I saw you on Chopped and wanted to find your website when I heard you say you didn’t use recipes but I thought I could learn some kitchen basics and how tos from you.  I really really like your website and I’m going to bookmark it so I can try all these fantastic ideas.  It’s like a chef teaching me at my own discretion.  Thanks.

  • Kshab56

    Ok everybody, I’ve eaten a lot of good homemade chicken soup in my like but this recipe is the best. Mine used to be, but now this wins the prize. The avocado, lime and carrots make it fantastic! I served it as a first course to my grilled tilapia and it went amazing well. Thanks for the great find!

  • Sexyeyez_290

    this is stupid!

  • Bradicich

    boring and bland…. I just poured it down the sink..

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Yikes! Sorry to hear it didn’t work out for you. Can you tell me a little bit more about what happened? Did you boil the bones for the full 3 hours specified? How large was your chicken? Would love to get to the bottom of this so other people don’t have the same problem.

  • Julia

    I don’t know what the people with negative comments did wrong, but this is really good! The avocado is an interesting addition! Either they didn’t follow the recipe right or their tastebuds were too dulled out by their colds to know the difference between good chicken soup and soup from a can! With the lime and the cillantro (and avocado, come to think of it) I was tempted to roast some poblanos and turn it into tortilla soup :P :)

  • Guest

    I agree. This is the best chicken soup I have ever had.  THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Mma345

    @ Bradicich, to bad you did not follow the recipe, this is the best way to have a pure strong chicken flavor soup. Don’t give up so fast! you could have use that broth for many other recipes.  

  • Karen Mangan

    This chicken soup is great! I am going to make this exactly as per the recipe in winter, but it’s a hot day here so i also threw some lime leaves into the stock and a chunk of smashed ginger. I dont have any avocado so putting some bok choy into the bowl instead. Just lovely, thanks for sharing!

  • Molly

    I loved it and think it lives up to its name. The chicken was perfect and can be used for chicken salad, sandwiches, soft chicken tacos, etc. all week. It’s a good recipe for the specific carbohydrate diet introductory diet chicken soup too!

  • Anonymous

    First-time reader and commenter here… cooked this soup today for my sick wife in a tiny rental apartment in Pucon, Chile. After a week of no appetite or interest in food, she ate two bowls!

    Thanks for the great post.

    The slow poaching is clever and works quite well. Lime/cilantro/avo hit the spot. Only two minor notes:

    1) we ended up with less broth than we wanted and extra chicken (probably because we started with an enormous bone-in double breast and two enormous bone-in leg/thigh combo pieces, rather than a single whole chicken… no free-range organic stuff here). Perhaps should have used more water.

    2) the refrigerated chicken+avo made the broth a little cold, so I warmed the chicken before combining with hot broth, avo, and cilantro

  • Sburnettehome

    I want to make this chicken soup for my book club- how would I double the recipe? I guess I’m asking do I need two pots or is there a way to make it in one?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      If you have a very large pot that can comfortably accomodate both chickens, you could do it in one pot, but it would probably be safer to use 2.

  • Sburnettehome

    I’m trying it doubled in one large pot now, I’ll let you know! Thanks for the response

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  • Sarahbrosnan

    Just made this…. Was lovely!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/jatin.kumar.311 Jatin Kumar

    nice recipes…..<3

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  • Ginger

    Thanks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mrichmann Mary Clark Richmann

    We made this soup for my daughter who just had minor surgery. She said it was delicious! We actually left the onions and celery in the broth along with the carrots and added some noodles, too.

  • Jason Sayles

    I made this today. It was delicious. I used pearl onions, stewed tomatoes, white beans, and kale instead of celery. This was my first venture into homemade soup, and I’m impressed with the results. I have a friend undergoing chemo, starting next week and I’m going to make this again for him. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Trecia

    Looks great, smells great…am fixing it now. However, my chicken wasn’t done after 5 minutes of boiling and 45 minutes of poaching. I’ve put it back in the pot to cook more….thinking I will let it boil longer next time. Maybe 10 minutes or so.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Unfortunately there’s a lot of factors that can effect poaching time. How big your chicken is, how cold it was when it went into the pot, how thick your pot is (thicker pots retain heat better), and even how warm your kitchen is. I would not recommend increasing boiling time because it will overcook the breasts, instead you may want to turn the heat back on after about 20 minutes to heat up the water again and then turn it off when it starts to simmer and continue poaching.

  • Teri

    Perfect! The use of cilantro in the broth added a depth of flavor the avocado, cilantro and lime a perfect compliment in flavor and texture.

  • LJ

    Great…Great…Great recipe. I made this for my parents and they absolutely loved it. Thank you.

  • Hillary Casper

    I have been craving chicken soup, but have never made it myself. I searched online and found this recipe. I have also never cooked a whole chicken before! This recipe was awesome! I am most excited by the avocado in the soup, something I’ve never seen before. It adds a really nice creamy texture. I also didn’t fully strain the soup, since I like it more chock full of stuff. I added mushrooms and kale, along w/more celery at the end. I did have to deviate a bit from the recipe because I ran out of time after simmering for 3 hours, and refrigerated the stock and separate chicken overnight, to resume the final cooking step in the morning. I wonder if this was a mistake, because the chicken which seemed so tender when I pulled it apart, was actually tough in the soup. I will definitely make this again! Thank you!

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you enjoyed it! It’s best to store the chicken separate from the soup. When you reheat the soup, just place the cooked chicken in the bowls and pour the hot soup over the chicken. The heat from the soup will gently warm up the chicken without overlooking it. If you like your soup very hot, you can boil a kettle of water and use the hot water to heat the bowls before you add the chicken and soup.

  • BrooklynGerry

    Hi Marc
    I made this recipe today ( Tuesday, March 19th) as a preparatory chicken soup for the Passover holiday and I am conducting my 1st Seder in my new apartment in Brooklyn. I didn’t have a whole chicken to use, so I substituted 4 very hefty chicken
    thighs instead. I also added a few more onions, some more carrots and some more celery to your recipe, however, I kept the rest of your recipe pretty much as you had
    written it in your blog. I am looking forward to hearing how my guests like this recipe as I’ve made chicken soup in the past and always get compliments. The recipe sounds wonderful and I am looking forward to making it again.

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  • Laura Lu

    Marc,

    I found this recipe yesterday as I was in dire need of a good chicken soup recipe to make with some leftover chicken I had. I did adjust it slightly for the sake of time. Basically all the ingredients listed were used in addition to peppercorns, chicken broth instead of water, left over whole chicken pieces and 3 boneless uncooked chicken thighs. I unfortunately did not read the part about letting the broth sit for 3 hours until I was in my kitchen ready to start but alas that did not stop me! What I did instead was throw all ingredients in the pot excluding the leftover cooked chicken, carrots, and avocado. I covered and brought to a boil. I forgot about the pot and it boiled for closer to 7-10 mins but all was not lost! I then turned the heat between simmer and low on my stove top, covered, and let sit for 35 minutes (give or take a few minutes). After this time, I checked on the chicken (at this point I started shredding the thighs in the pot with 2 forks) and threw in the carrots and leftover cooked chicken I had. I covered and turned the heat up to just before medium and let it heat back up for about 20 minutes.

    The results were absolutely divine! The carrots were still a little hard. I did not want to put them in in the beginning (even though if I had they would have been tender) as I didn’t want to lose their flavor, however, I do enjoy my carrots with a little crunch. Next time I will probably throw them in a bit sooner. Not in the very beginning, but maybe 20 minutes in.

    This is def a keeper! Next time I will follow the directions as written however I was not disappointed and extremely pleased this came out so well with out the 3 hour sit! I’m sure the broth would have been even more delicious had it sat for the correct amount of time but just goes to show you that you can make great recipes even if you are short on time!

    Thanks! This one is going in the book!

  • Claudia

    Maybe it’s a stupid question, but why do you cook the bones again? I know you need marrow for a good soup stock, but bird bones are hollow and don’t have any marrow like e.g. cows?! :/

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Claudia, not a stupid question at all. You add the bones back in because the first cook is just enough time to cook the meat through. It’s not enough time to extract the flavor from the bones and certainly isn’t enough time to dissolve the cartilage into gelatin, which is what gives the soup it’s richness. Chicken bones may be hollow, but they still contain a lot of flavor. If you want to test this, try doing one batch with only the 45 minutes, and then the next batch with the bones added back in going the extra 3 hours. You’ll see a big difference in the, flavor, color and richness of the stocks.

  • Kerry

    Marc, love this recipe. Made it recently but used a fat egg noodle and raw spinach. So colourful and so good. My husband and I both love it.

  • Mrs.Ratfire

    Hello- I have a question. The recipe says to put the cilantro roots and stems in the pot. Did you remove them before serving? I see the leaves as a garnish- but those were not cooked in the batch. Do you use the leaves for anything other than the garnish?

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Mrs.Ratfire, when you strain the stock the stems and roots along with the bones and other herbs get removed from the soup. The leaves are just a garnish.

  • Yogicfoodie

    Hi Marc,
    If I suppliment the stock by adding about 2 lbs. of chicken back, would it be too off balance-wise? I will also bump up the water a bit too. The pic. above looks like it’s super clean, pure and mild tasting. I really like deep, rich chicken flavored stock, but would like to keep the color as clear as possible. Could I achieve this goal by simmering for longer time? Or does it require the pressure cooker?
    Thank you again.

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Yogicfoodie, I’m not sure what you mean by adding 2 lbs of chicken back? Do you mean after you’ve cooked the bones you want to add more fresh chicken? As for getting the clear stock, it’s important to prevent chicken proteins from entering the soup (that’s what clouds it). Normally this is done by skimming while the soup is boiling, which allows you to scoop off the excreted proteins in the form of the scum it forms as the water boils. The other way is to use cooked chicken (because the proteins have already coagulated), which is what’s happening here since you poach the chicken first before boiling the bones to make the stock. As for making richer stock, it’s not clear, but check out my rich chicken stock recipe. http://norecipes.com/recipe/rich-chicken-stock/

      • Yogicfoodie

        Hi again Marc,
        thank you so much! Sorry about confusion. I meant to say ‘from beginning, adding 2 lbs. of chicken bones….’ My butcher sells ‘chicken back bones’ after debonning some chick. for ppl to purchase different cuts.
        NOW I KNOW why some times my stocks are moro clear then others. I’ve followed the Zuni Cookbooks recipe for chicken stock so far and since I wanted to make larger quantity of stock at once, I often put in extra bones… Yes, I got more stock, but it also got cloudy. And sometimes, I found my stock super clear (retro spectively thinking, I just used one whole chicken, and didn’t chop it up to pieces).
        Again, thank you so mush for your insightful felp. It makes such a huge difference in my cooking!

  • SJ

    Hi Marc,
    This sounds wonderful and I will be trying it but was wondering about freezing individual portions (as I live on my own)? Would I freeze the soup and chicken separately then just defrost, reheat and add the other things? Some recipes also just mulch / blend it all together to make a smooth soup. Does this change the flavour?
    Thanks
    SJ

    • http://norecipes.com Marc Matsumoto

      Hi SJ, there’s a couple ways you could go about doing this. Usually I split up just the soup and freeze it, that way I can add fresh chicken and veggies separately since freezing the chicken and carrots will change their texture. As for the chicken from the soup, you can use it in sandwiches, and salads to use that up since freezing it will tend to dry it out negating any benefit you got from gently poaching it. As for pureeing, I don’t think pureeing the chicken with the soup will make for a very pleasant texture (it will be like baby food), that said, pureeing vegetables into the stock could give you a nice carrot soup.

      • SJ

        Wonderful, that’s lots of options. Thanks for all the info.
        SJ

Welcome!

I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!