Poultry Noodle Soup

Works great for chicken — but also for wild Galliformes (pheasant, grouse, etc.). Turkey and quail might pose challenges due to size, but would be a worthy experiment.
When someone in my house starts to get a cold I go all Jewish mother and within minutes I’m rooting through the freezer then jetting off to the store for whatever else I need for this recipe. As soon as possible they have a nice bowl of this in hand. It looks like a lot of steps but the result is worth it.

IMPORTANT: The quantities are based on the whole dressed carcass weight of the bird(s). Be sure to adjust the “Servings” value to the weight of your bird(s) if it differs much from the default.
A 6.5qt pot is juuuust big enough for the full 6lb carcass recipe, which produces about 9 or 10 pints of soup.
Print Recipe
Poultry Noodle Soup Yum
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
lbs of whole dressed bird(s)
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
lbs of whole dressed bird(s)
  1. Leaving the skin on, disassemble the carcass(es) to to produce three groups 1) thighs/drumsticks, 2) boneless breast, and 3) everything else (including spine & neck). Either reserve the giblets for another use, or once you're familiar with the recipe include them as you see fit. Personally I'd at least avoid the liver. Separate the wings into tips, flats & drummies). If turkey, break the breast down into pieces sized roughly similar to a large chicken breast so they will cook at the right speed. Cut or pull the breast "tenderloin" tendon out.
  2. Bone out the legs (here's a good method: YouTube.com/watch?v=Pm1ctMsWlPU&t=33s, except use kitchen bone pincers/tweezers (or even clean pliers) to pull out the drumstick tendons — this is ESPECIALLY important if using wild birds. Pat the boneless breast and legs dry, lightly salt and set aside on a rack — In the fridge if prepping ahead of time.
  3. Rough chop group #3 (thighbones, spine, wings, any other bits) into ≈ 2" pieces. Be sure all major bones are at least cracked.
  4. Heat fat/oil in large pot.
  5. When oil shimmers and just starts to smoke (needs to be hot), add breasts and legs, skin on. Brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside in a bowl to capture any juices.
  6. Add half of chopped onions to the pot; sauté until colored and softened slightly, ≈ 3 minutes. Transfer to another medium bowl and set aside.
  7. Add half of pile #3, sauté until no longer pink, ≈ 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the reserved sautéed onions.
  8. Sauté the remaining poultry pieces. After ≈ 5 minutes return the reserved sautéed poultry pieces & onion (but not the breasts & legs) to the pot.
  9. Reduce heat to low. Cover & simmer until poultry releases its juices, about 20 minutes.
  10. While the pieces are simmering, add the salt and stock to another pot and bring to a simmer.
  11. After the pieces have released their juices, add the hot stock, breasts, legs, and bay leaves.
  12. Return to slow simmer. Cover and simmer ≈ 45 minutes for wild birds, ≈ 20 minutes for domestic.
  13. Remove breasts and thighs from kettle; set aside to cool a bit
  14. Strain broth; discard solids.
  15. Separate fat from strained broth. Reserve ≈ 3 Tbsp fat. Might need to add some if using wild birds. Save extra fat for later uses.
  16. Remove & discard skin from the cooled breasts & thighs. Shred or dice the meat to the final size you want for serving.
  17. Return pot to medium-high heat, add the reserved fat.
  18. Sauté the carrot, celery and remaining raw onion until softened (≈5 minutes). Shorter if you prefer more texture in your veggies.
  19. Add thyme, broth and the diced/shredded meat; Bring back up to simmer.
  20. Add egg noodles and simmer until just tender. Duration can vary - follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  21. Adjust seasonings, add a little pepper, stir in parsley, give it another minute or so. Remove bay leaves and serve.
Recipe Notes

Freezes well.

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