WARNING: If you have no cooking skills at all, please get some before trying to follow this recipe.
I highly recommend watching several months worth of cooking shows on television. Reality shows don’t count.
If you do have cooking skills, please READ THE WHOLE THING before trying to use this recipe. Otherwise, you may be running around the kitchen grabbing the extra bowls and strainers and stuff* that you’re gonna need.
Remove the chicken from the pot temporarily so you can add 2 quartered medium yellow onions, 2 or 3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped, 2 or 3 roughly chopped carrots (or several peeled baby carrots) and several smashed cloves of garlic. Add chicken back into the pot and then fill the pot with clean cold water until everything is covered. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of salt, several cracks of pepper, some rubbed sage, and any other spices you like (red pepper, etc.).You can also float a bay leaf in there, but just remember to “fish it out”* later.
Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour.
While it’s simmering, if you see any foamy-gray-soup-junk-residue* floating at the top of your soup pot, you can skim it off with a spoon and discard (or you can just strain it later).
Remove chicken breasts from pot (leave the wings and everything else in there) and let the pot of soup simmer* for another 2 hours.
When the chicken breasts are cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones and chop or tear into bite size pieces. Store chicken pieces in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
When the 2 hours of additional simmering is done, turn off the heat.
Get a big heat-proof bowl (glass or metal) and a colander/strainer. and with a slotted spoon or set of tongs, remove all the remaining pieces of chicken and vegetables from the pot. Get as much out as you can. Get some bowls or storage containers (with lids) and separate the chicken from the vegetables the best you can. If you can separate any meat from the wing bones, go ahead, otherwise, you can discard (or eat) the wings. They’ve done their job. If you’re not serving your soup right away, put lids on those containers of meat and/or vegetables and put them in the fridge.
Get another large pot or container (or you might need two if your remaining pots aren’t big enough) and ladle/pour the stock through a strainer lined with cheesecloth (or a clean lint-free cotton towel) to filter the stock from any sediment or debris that was left in the pot of soup you just made.
If you like, you can recombine the soup with pieces of the vegetables and chicken, or keep them separate to add to the soup when you choose to serve it. When the soup has cooled a bit, you can store the soup in reusable microwaveable plastic containers in the fridge.
Most of the connective tissue from the wings of the chicken pieces should have melted into gelatin, which makes this soup incredibly awesome, but may look weird when you pull the soup out of the fridge the next day.
If the fridge-a-tated* soup jiggles, don’t worry. This is the sign of a really good stock. Use it as-is, for adding flavor to rice or other dishes, or as a base for any number of soup recipes.
Questions? Ask someone else. I’m just a cook. 🙂
*a technical term