Skip To Content

Estelle’s Chicken Soup

Makes about 6 quarts, serving 8 to 10


Large slotted spoon

10- to 12-quart stockpot



6 quarts chicken stock

1 (4-pound) chicken, preferably all-natural or organic, cut into 8 pieces

1 carrot, trimmed, peeled, and cut into ¼-inch cubes

1 small onion, cut into ¼-inch cubes

1 leek, white part only, trimmed, well-washed, and sliced very thinly

1 celery stalk, cut into ¼-inch slices

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Optional garnish: 12 sprigs fresh parsley, chopped; 1 bunch fresh chives, cut into whisper-thin pieces


Use the slotted spoon to skim off the layer of solid fat that has risen to the top of the cold stock.

Combine the stock and the remaining ingredients (through celery) in the stockpot. Bring to a gentle simmer over high heat, watching so that it does not at any point go into a full boil, which will cause the stock to become cloudy. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered, for 1½ hours, or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.

Using a pair of tongs, carefully remove the chicken pieces from the soup. Set them aside until cool enough to pick the meat from the bones. Discard any gristle and the bones. Shred the meat, and return to the soup. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste. If you’re serving the soup immediately, heat it through. Ladle into serving bowls, making sure everyone gets some chicken meat in their bowl, and garnish with the chopped herbs. If you’re serving it later, refrigerate or freeze immediately.

Excerpted from the book THE FREDS AT BARNEYS NEW YORK COOKBOOK by Mark Strausman; with Susan Littlefield. Copyright © 2018 by Mark Strausman. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.