Chicken Soup

It's the first thing my mom taught me how to make. I've adapted it a little over the years. Chicken soup is that soup that warms you from the inside out. Everyone should have a favorite chicken soup that they make for their loved ones. This is mine. 
3 to 4 pound whole chicken
5 carrots peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
4 celery stalks sliced 
6 ounces frozen corn
1/2 bag egg noodles
1 14 ounce can drained diced tomatoes
4 chicken boullion cubes
2 bay leaf
dried parsley
head of garlic
1 medium onion
2 tsp whole peppercorns
1 Tbsp dried parsley

I use a 3 1/2 to 4 pound whole chicken, in my opinion, the best chicken soup is made with a whole chicken or chicken on the bone. All of the lovely, deep, delicious flavor is in the bones. Rinse your chicken well. get all that junk out of the inside and discard. Place in your largest soup pot and cover with cold water. I use enough water to just cover the chicken. Then throw in a medium onion, slice in half, skin and all, a whole carrot, I do not peel the carrot I rinse the carrot and break it in half and throw in the pot. I take a whole head of garlic skin and all and cut down the middle and add it to the pot. Add 2 bay leaves. 2 tsp whole peppercorns. Once you pull off your 4 celery stalks that you will add to the the soup later take that center part of the celery, the part with all the leaves that you usually throw away and put those in the pot. No need to chop, just throw them in. Those leaves have so much flavor! This is all to flavor your broth. These will all be discarded but for now it's going to help make the most delicious chicken broth, the very heart of your soup. Bring the soup to a simmer, it is important not to boil the soup, you want a nice, suttle simmer. Simmer for about an hour or until you notice that the legs are loosening and the meat is pulling away from the bones.Remove the chicken to a bowl and let cool slightly. Set a large bowl under a large strainer and pour the stock through the strainer. Discard the cooked vegetables. Pour the broth back into your soup pot. Add your sliced carrots and celery and simmer until tender. Add parsley. While it's simmering start removing the cooled chicken from the bones. I like large chunks. I just use my fingers. Add salt and pepper to your broth to taste add 4 chicken boullion cubes. Add 1/2 bag of egg noodles, or whatever noodle you want to use. It's important not to add too many noodles because the noodles will absorb a lot of the broth. Once the noodles are cooked add the frozen corn, and the chicken back in. I put tomatoes in my soup, I love tomatoes, they are good for you and they fight cancer, why not put them in? But if you do not like tomatoes then you don't put them in. Cook for 10 minutes more and enjoy. It's even better the next day...the longer it sits the better it is.

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