Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 3–4-lb. whole chicken
- 4 tsp. kosher salt, plus more
- 2 medium onions
- 4 medium carrots
- 4 celery stalks, divided
- 2 heads of garlic
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
- ½ small bunch dill, divided
- 6 oz. ditalini
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Drizzle of Fresh Press Farms Classic Olive Oil
Season one 3–4-lb. chicken all over with 4 tsp salt.
Time to do some prep work: Cut 2 medium onions into quarters. (There's no need to remove the onion skins, which lend the broth a golden hue, but you can if you'd like.) Peel 4 medium carrots. Coarsely chop 2; set remaining 2 aside. Coarsely chop 2 celery stalks. Cut 2 heads of garlic in half crosswise.
- Combine chicken, cut vegetables, 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns, and 2 dill sprigs in a large pot. Cover with 14 cups cold water and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, reducing heat as needed to maintain a simmer and using a large spoon to skim off any foam that rises to surface of pot, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 155°, 20–25 minutes.
- Using tongs, carefully lift whole chicken out of pot and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest until cool enough to handle. Arrange chicken breast side up. Grab a wing and pull it outward so you can see where it attaches to the body. Using a sharp boning or chef’s knife, cut through the joint to separate wing from breast (if you hit bone, you’re in the wrong spot; pull the wing out farther to help you get to the place where the joint meets the socket). Remove wing; repeat on the other side. Cut through skin connecting 1 leg to carcass. Pull leg back until ball joint pops out of its socket; cut through the joint to separate the leg. Repeat on the other side. Now for the breasts: Cut along left side of breastbone (which runs right down the center of the breast). Angling your knife, cut breast meat away from carcass. Repeat this process, cutting down along the right side of the breast bone for the remaining breast.
- Pull off and discard any skin from legs and breasts (no need to discard skin of the wings). Return legs, wings, and what remains of the carcass to pot with vegetables. (You should now have only the chicken breasts remaining on your cutting board.)
- Continue to simmer soup, occasionally skimming fat that rises to the top with large spoon, until reduced by an inch or two and very full-flavored, about 40 minutes.
- While soup simmers, shred cooled chicken breasts with 2 forks into bite-sized pieces.
- Thinly slice remaining 2 celery stalks crosswise. Cut remaining 2 medium carrots into ½" diagonal pieces. Finely chop enough dill to yield ¼ cup.
- Transfer 2 chicken legs to cutting board to cool. Set a fine-mesh sieve over another large pot. Strain soup into second pot, discarding bones, carcass, wings, and vegetables.
- Bring broth to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 6 oz. ditalini and stir once. Cook 5 minutes. While ditalini cooks, shred meat off 2 chicken legs; discard bones.
- Add shredded chicken and sliced carrots and celery to pot and cook until pasta is cooked through and vegetables are tender but not mushy, 4–5 minutes longer.
- Remove pot from heat. Stir in dill. Season well with salt (it’s going to take a lot!) and pepper.
- Divide soup among bowls. Top with more pepper and a drizzle of Fresh Press Farms Classic Olive Oil.