When I was eight years old, my family immigrated to the States (from Germany) and that's about the time my mother made chicken soup every Friday since chicken was relatively inexpensive and a entire family (five people) could be fed. (We did have chicken soup in Germany - but very rarely due to the expense.) Chicken Soup was never a favorite of mine since we had it on a regular basis and my mother would use rice instead of noodles most of the time - when she did use noodles, I loved it. Fast forward - I started making my own Chicken Soup for my family (not every week - maybe 3 to 4 times a year and it definitely is one of our favorite meals. I still use my mothers ingredients (she never used recipes) and had to come up with my own recipe which I use all the time now. My Chicken Soup (as my mother's) is not part of a meal, it's the whole meal - protein, starch and vegetable (chicken, noodles and carrots). You'll notice that I don't use a whole chicken instead I use leg quarters because they offer dark meat and the most amount of bones which gives it the flavor and richness. Hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do. —eleonore
chicken leg quarters (leg & thigh) - rinse
carrots - peel, rinse and cut into 1 inch pieces
large yellow onion - peel and leave whole
cloves garlic - peel and leave whole
celery stalks - rinse and cut into 1 inch pieces
Using an 8 quart soup pot - put rinsed chicken into pot and add 4 quarts of water and put on stove over medium flame. At this point, you can add the onion, garlic, parsley, tomato and cover with lid leaving a little opening so as not to boil over.
Once water starts to boil, foam/scum will gather on top - remove foam/scum as it gathers.
Lower flame to the lowest setting and cook for about 1-1/2 hours and then add carrots, celery, salt, pepper, sugar and cook for another 1-1/2 hours on very low flame with lid on - again leave a little opening.
Soup should be done and chicken meat should be ready to fall off of bone. Make sure to taste and add seasoning if needed. At this point, I remove the whole onion and also try to find the 2 garlic cloves and remove them and discard.
In a separate pot cook your favorite noodles (not rice) according to instructions - I prefer to use a kluski type of noodle.
When noodles are ready, put noodles into soup bowl, add soup (including carrots and chicken meat - you can remove meat from bones or leave meat on the bones, which I prefer).
Tip: Before serving, try to remove as much chicken fat from top as possible - if serving soup the next day, remove the rest of the fat before heating soup. Enjoy!