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When cold and flu season strikes, cook up a batch of our Chicken Noodle Soup!

Chicken Noodle Soup (New York Penicillin)

We’ve been fighting colds in our house these last few weeks, so this Chicken Noodle Soup has been on the menu.  Nothing too fancy – just a pot of hearty and flavorful chicken soup to clear our sinuses, and soothe our scratchy throats to make us feel better. (It worked!)

This Chicken Noodle Soup recipe is adapted from the well-known New York Cookbook by Molly O’Neill – who refers to this recipe as ‘New York Penicillin’.  We think it’s one of the best recipes around for a basic, but super-flavorful chicken noodle soup. In fact, this recipe is really ALL about a rich and flavorful chicken stock, and less about the noodles which are often the highlight in many other chicken noodle soups.


Chicken Noodle Soup (New York Penicillin)

Why is chicken soup good for a cold?

According to UCLA, chicken soup has been considered a remedy for colds dating back to the 12th century. Back then, the Egyptian-Jewish physician and philosopher Maimonides advised people to consume chicken soup for the relief of respiratory tract symptoms. This is likely where the nickname of ‘Jewish penicillin’ originated (or in the case of our recipe today – New York penicillin – a nod to the large Jewish population in the city).

More recent scientific studies tout the anti-inflammatory properties of chicken soup – where it helps prevent congestion caused by white blood cells migrating to the upper respiratory area of the chest. Garlic and onions both have anti viral properties as well.

As Molly O’Neill states in the cookbook’s original recipe, “The soup’s curative powers are released only when the vegetables are mashed together in the bowl…Use a fork for mashing. Use a big spoon for eating. You’ll feel better soon.” It works!


Chicken Noodle Soup (New York Penicillin)

How do you make Chicken Noodle Soup?

This soup recipe couldn’t be any easier! You’ll add a whole chicken, plus other boney chicken parts (the bones yield the best flavor plus collagen, which is so good for you too) to a big pot, with carrots, onions, celery, garlic, fresh parsley, bay leaves, salt and black pepper corns. Then cover with four quarts of cold water.

Bring the pot to a simmer, and cook for four hours – skimming away any foam from the top as it cooks.Chicken Noodle Soup (New York Penicillin)

Once your soup has simmered, strain the chicken stock from the solids – but save the chicken, carrots and celery to serve in the finished soup. Skim off any fat from the top of the stock, then shred the cooked chicken and return it to the pot along with the carrots and celery. Season with additional salt and pepper as needed, then serve your chicken soup with thin egg noodles.

Chicken Noodle Soup (New York Penicillin)

This post originally appeared on A Family Feast in February 2013. We’ve updated the photos and post.

You may like these other Chicken Soup recipes:

Interested in more chicken recipes?
Click here for our 100+ Best Chicken Recipes.

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Chicken Noodle Soup (New York Penicillin)

Chicken Noodle Soup (New York Penicillin)

  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings


  • 4 quarts cold water
  • 1 fryer chicken 4-5 pounds
  • 2 chicken feet, or one turkey neck or 4 chicken wings or 1 turkey wing
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and bruised
  • 1 onion peeled and cut in half
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 23 carrots)
  • 1 1/2 cups celery cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 2 celery stalks)
  • ½ bunch fresh flat leaf parsley tied with a string
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns*
  • 1 package thin egg noodles, or noodles of your choice


  1. Put all ingredients into a large stock pot, except the noodles, and slowly bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for four hours, skimming the foam as it first comes to a boil.
  3. Check after two hours and if too much liquid has cooked away, partially cover for the remaining two hours.
  4. Strain the stock from the solids and discard the onion, garlic, parsley, bay leaf and peppercorns but save the chicken, carrots and celery.
  5. Remove skin and debone the chicken. Shred the chicken between your fingers and return the chicken to the pot with the stock.
  6. Return the carrots and celery to the pot with the stock and chicken and bring back to a simmer.
  7. Season finished soup with salt and pepper to taste. Using a wide ladle, skim off top layer of fat that floats at the top and discard.
  8. Boil water and cook noodles according to package directions however keep noodles separate from soup until you are ready to serve. Store each separately.
  9. Serve the soup over the cooked egg noodles.


*If you place the peppercorns in a small cheesecloth bundle tied with a string, they will be easier to fish out later.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken Noodle Soup

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  • Lisa Januska wrote:

    Would you please advise the brand of the noodles you use in the photo? I can’t seem to find these, not too sure if they’re a linguine noodle, or something else? I love this style in chicken noodle soups, your recipe looks wonderful! Thank you!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lisa – These are “fine” egg noodles – our local supermarket sells the No Yolks brand or you can order the Pennsylvania Dutch brand on Amazon here: – hope this helps!

  • Germaine Dubois wrote:

    Love Chicken Soup, can pre-made chicken stock (store bought) be used instead of making the stock.

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Germaine – although most of this particular recipe is centered around making the homemade stock!

  • Barbara wrote:

    Sounds like a glorious soup ! Can this soup be frozen for when needed ? We are all healthy at the moment….But it and when we get a cold we would love to have it at our finger tips ….

    • Martha wrote:

      Sure Barbara – we do this ourselves! I’d suggest leaving out the pasta when you freeze the soup – then boil some up fresh and add it to the soup once it is thawed. Hope that helps!

  • Catheirne wrote:

    We love soups in our family. Making Chicken noodle today. Your beef and Barley soup was awesome. I shared with friends.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Catherine!

  • Megan wrote:

    Sounds delicious…anyway the recipie can be modified into a slow cooker?

    • Martha wrote:

      I’m not sure Megan! You need to reduce the stock for the best flavor and a closed crockpot really doesn’t allow the stock to evaporate! On the stove would be best!

  • Shiloh Barkley wrote:

    Making this tonight…with chicken! Poor planning to have two birds in a row! lol

    • Martha wrote:

      LOL. Hope you enjoy the recipe Shiloh!

  • Kaye jones wrote:

    Might want to revise you recipe…says putt ALL ingredients in stock pot. Later says cook noodles separately…I cook enough to know not to out the noodles in while making stock but others won’t.

    • Martha wrote:

      Oh thank you Kaye!!! We’ve updated the recipe and Jack is kicking himself that he missed that error! Thank you so much for letting us know! Martha

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