Best Ever Chicken Soup

This is a fantastic soup that is an easy to cook entire meal. Use a whole chicken!


One small chicken, 1.5 to 2 pounds with gizzards if possible. This is all about the chicken, so get the best money can buy.

A few potatoes and carrots, peeled diced and sliced, respectively

One onion

A bunch of fresh parsley or coriander (optional)

Coarse salt, black peppercorns, bay leaves

How to cook

Carefully wash the chicken and the gizzards including the internal cavity under cold water. You may trim any big lumps of fat, but leave the skin on. Place the chicken whole in a stockpot that’s large enough to hold it with plenty to spare. Cover with cold water allowing it to come to about two inches (five cm) above the level of the chicken. Bring to a boil on high heat and skim any foam that appears on the surface.

Add the onion, washed but unpeeled; this will add a lovely gold color to the broth.  Also add the peppercorns (about a dozen), the coarse salt (start with about a flat tablespoon), and two or three crumbled bay leaves. Once the broth comes back to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for about 45 minutes. It is hard to overcook this dish, but don’t undercook it.

Remove the chicken, cover, and reserve in a warm place like the top of a woodstove or a warm oven. The chicken should be falling off the bone, so use caution when removing it. Check for salt and correct as needed. Discard the onion, add the carrots and potatoes to the broth and cook until very tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle chopped parsley or cilantro on the broth and remove from heat. Serve in soup bowls with the chicken on the side. Chicken pieces can be either placed in the soup bowls or eaten separately with mayo and spicy mustard.

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