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.
Poultry Noodle Soup
Leaving the skin on, cut bird(s) to produce: wings (separate tips, flats & drummies), thigh/legs, boneless breast, & everything else including spine. If turkey, break the breast down into pieces sized roughly similar to a large chicken breast so they will cook at the right speed.
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 needle-nose pliers) to pull out the drumstick tendons — 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.
Rough chop all of the remaining bits (thighbones, spine, wings, any other bits) into ≈ 2" pieces. Be sure all major bones are at least cracked.
Heat fat/oil in large pot.
When oil shimmers and just starts to smoke, add breasts and legs; brown on both sides (skin on), about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside in a bowl to capture any juices.
Add half of chopped onions to the pot; sauté until colored and softened slightly, ≈ 3 minutes. Transfer to another medium bowl and set aside.
Add half of the remaining poultry pieces; sauté until no longer pink, ≈ 5 minutes. Add to the bowl with the reserved sautéed onions.
Sauté the remaining poultry pieces. After ≈ 5 minutes return the reserved sautéed poultry pieces & onion (but not the breasts & legs) to the pot.
Reduce heat to low. Cover & simmer until poultry releases its juices, about 20 minutes.
While the pieces are simmering, add the salt and stock to another pot and bring to a simmer.
After the pieces have released their juices, add the hot stock, breasts, legs, and bay leaves.
Return to slow simmer. Cover and simmer ≈ 45 minutes for wild birds, ≈ 20 minutes for domestic.
Remove breasts and thighs from kettle; set aside to cool a bit
Strain broth; discard solids.
Separate fat from strained broth. Reserve ≈ 3 Tbsp fat. Might need to add some if using wild birds. Save extra fat for later uses.
Retrieve the breasts & thighs, remove & discard the skin, shred or dice the meat.
Return pot to medium-high heat, add the reserved fat.
Sauté the carrot, celery and remaining raw onion until softened (≈5 minutes). Shorter if you prefer more texture in your veggies.
Add thyme, broth and the diced/shredded meat; Bring back up to simmer.
Add egg noodles and simmer until just tender. Duration can vary - follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Adjust seasonings, add a little pepper, stir in parsley, give it another minute or so. Remove bay leaves and serve.