Enjoy a delicious chicken soup made with a whole chicken in your slow cooker.
Ah, there’s something undeniably comforting about a simmering pot of golden goodness, bubbling away in your slow cooker (or on your stove), and that unmistakable aroma filling every nook and cranny of your home.
It’s a whole chicken, swirling in a sea of flavors, transforming into a heartwarming stock that could cure just about anything.
Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my cherished recipe for a chicken soup that’s nothing short of a big bear hug from the inside.
This is a soup that brings back memories of childhood, of warmth, and of love. It’s a celebration of simplicity and tradition, as we take a whole chicken and turn it into a rich, nourishing broth.
So, let’s begin. Savor every simmering moment as we craft a whole chicken into a steaming pot of soup with deep, rich chicken flavor and tender meat.
Ingredients for a flavorful broth
Here are the essential ingredients for your broth.
Veggies and Herbs:
1. Celery and Carrots: These vegetables add a subtle sweetness and earthy flavor to the broth while providing essential vitamins and minerals.
2. Onion: Onions bring a savory, aromatic depth to the soup, contributing to its rich and comforting taste.
3. Garlic: Garlic infuses a gentle, mellow garlic flavor and complements the other herbs and spices in the broth.
4. Parsley and Thyme: These herbs contribute to the soup’s aromatic profile, providing freshness, and a hint of herbal complexity.
5. Salt and Pepper: These seasonings enhance the overall taste of the soup, adding balance to the broth.
6. Whole Cloves: Cloves are optional, but I like the way they subtly infuse the broth with a warm, aromatic touch, elevating the overall flavor.
Liquid and Acid:
7. Water: The base of the soup, water serves as the canvas for all the other ingredients to meld together and create a well-balanced broth.
8. Vinegar: Vinegar helps to break down collagen in the bones and connective tissues of the chicken, which can result in a richer and more abundant broth. I like Bragg’s Apple Cider vinegar because it contains the “mother” of the vinegar: strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria.
Instructions for chicken soup
*Free printable recipe card is available at the end of the post.
Begin with placing your whole chicken with the skin, neck, and even the feet if you have them into your slow cooker and completely cover it with water. Add celery, carrots, onion, whole cloves, vinegar, and seasonings then set the cooker to the low heat setting for a 6-hour duration.
Opting for the stovetop method
As an alternative, you have the option to utilize a pot or Dutch oven on the stovetop. Bring it to a boil, and remove any surface fat that emerges. Then, lower the heat, cover the pot, and allow it to simmer.
After five hours, add garlic, parsley, and thyme.
After six hours of cooking, take the chicken out of the slow cooker. Gently slice the meat from the bones. Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
At this time, your soup is certainly ready to serve. But let me show you how to achieve a richer bone broth for your chicken soup.
Pro tip for richer bone broth
If your schedule allows, take a moment to extract the vegetables from the pot with a strainer. Place your cut up chicken meat along with the veggies in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.
Subsequently, reintroduce the chicken bones back into the pot and extend the simmering process for an additional 6 to 12 hours. This extended simmering period will result in a more robust and flavorful broth.
Note: If you find that some of the liquid has evaporated, it’s ok to add more water.
Once completed, strain out the bones and neck and discard them, leaving you with a delectably flavorful broth to serve with your chicken and veggies. Enjoy!
How to store chicken soup
For optimal storage, divide your cooked meat and vegetables into separate jars and then pour the chicken soup over them. Allow the soup to cool with the lid off before sealing it in the jars and refrigerating.
However, be cautious not to leave the soup unrefrigerated at room temperature for more than two hours to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.
Food safety tips
- Avoid using the same utensils on cooked food that were previously in contact with raw meat.
- Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling raw meat to prevent cross-contamination.
- Refrain from leaving perishable food at room temperature for extended periods to ensure food safety and prevent bacterial growth.
Pro tips and recipe notes
Can I use other herbs besides parsley and thyme? Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with herbs like rosemary or sage to suit your taste preferences.
What vegetables can I add for extra flavor and nutrition? Consider adding leeks, parsnips, or bell peppers for additional flavor and nutrients. You might even like to add zucchini noodles as I did in this Zoodle Soup With Meatballs.
How can I skim excess fat from the soup? Refrigerate the soup, and the fat will solidify on the surface, making it easy to remove.
Can I freeze the soup for later? Yes, you can freeze the soup in airtight containers for up to three months. However, be careful to use freezer safe containers as jars can sometimes break due to the expansion that happens when food is frozen. Thaw and reheat when ready to enjoy.
The heart of home cooking
From the moment you place that whole chicken in the pot until the final ladleful of soup, you’ve been creating a recipe of comfort and flavor. Whether you savor it after just 6 hours or patiently let it simmer for an extended 12 hours, this soup made with a whole chicken is the heart of home cooking.
Whenever you crave a comforting, nutritious meal, your trusty recipe awaits. Embrace the soothing simplicity of a steaming bowl of this nourishing chicken soup.
And if you have any questions, please reach out to me in the comments or shoot me an email, and I’ll respond ASAP!
More nourishing bone broth recipes
How To Make Beef Bone Broth (And Why It’s Good For You) – Drinking a steaming mug of beef bone broth is a wonderful way to strengthen your immune system.
Hearty Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup – This is the best nutritious gluten free chicken noodle soup.
Homemade Roast Lamb Soup – Place a roasted lamb bone (with a little bit of meat on it) in your slow cooker with veggies and make this delicious homemade soup.
Soups and Chili collection – This is my complete soups and chili recipe collection.
Chicken Soup: A Wholesome Low Carb, Gluten-Free, Whole 30 Recipe
- 8 cups water
- 1 whole organic chicken including the neck
- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar I like Bragg's
- 1-2 stalks of celery cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 carrots cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 onion diced
- 3 whole cloves optional
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- Begin with placing your whole chicken with the skin, neck, and even the feet if you have them, into your slow cooker and completely covering it with water. Add vinegar, salt, pepper, celery, carrots, onion, and whole cloves, then set the cooker to the low heat setting for a 6-hour duration.1 whole organic chicken including the neck, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 1-2 stalks of celery, 2 carrots, 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1 onion, 3 whole cloves, 8 cups water
- After five hours, add garlic, parsley, and thyme.3 cloves garlic, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- After six hours of cooking, take the chicken out of the slow cooker. Carefully, it's hot! Gently slice the meat from the bones and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.
- At this time, your soup is certainly ready to serve. But let me show you how to achieve a richer bone broth for your chicken soup.
For richer bone broth:
- If your schedule allows, take a moment to extract the vegetables from the pot with a strainer.Place your cut up chicken meat along with the veggies in an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator.
- Subsequently, reintroduce the chicken bones back into the pot and extend the simmering process for an additional 6 to 12 hours. This extended simmering period will result in a more robust and flavorful broth.
- Once completed, strain out the bones and neck and discard them, leaving you with a delectably flavorful broth for your chicken and veggies. Serve and enjoy!
For optimal storage:
- Divide your cooked meat and vegetables into separate jars and then pour the chicken soup over them. Allow the soup to cool with the lid off before sealing it in the jars and refrigerating.However, be cautious not to leave the soup unrefrigerated at room temperature for more than two hours to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.According to USDA, your soup will keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
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