A four-pack of thighs is about five bucks. That’s the base. Just one thigh, and freeze the rest. One thigh in a pot with a quart of water + one cup to cover what will boil off. Peppercorns, thyme, and bay leaf. Simmer about 40 minutes, check the chicken, maybe another 10 minutes. Eat the chicken.
When the broth cools, strain into a quart container. *Hey, I made the right amount again with no waste; guess the rule is to add 25% more water of the amount of broth with which you wish to end?
After a day or two in the fridge, you can skim and discard the pancake of fat. Sometimes I let it go a week, but longer than that, I will bring the broth to a boil again before using.
So you need the broth, an onion, and a handful of carrots and celery . And some noodles. And some chicken; I’ve been using either the chicken thigh, if I didn’t eat it, or a can of Costco chicken.
Now the easiest part. Chop the onion and throw it in the pot over some olive/canola oil. On medium. Add the chopped carrot and celery. When cooked, about 8~12 minutes, dump in the broth and bring it to a boil. Add a handful of egg noodles. READ THE DIRECTIONS. Reduce to medium simmer. 6 minute noodles? Add the chicken at 4 minutes *use a timer* and test the noodles in another two.
After the chicken goes in, I add more thyme, salt, and pepper. And I TASTE IT. That is one of the tricks to cooking. Tasting as you go. Another is being aware of time.
Remove from heat when the noodles are ALMOST done. By the time you tidy up the kitchen, wash whatever you dirtied, and get out a bowl, spoon, and glass of water, the soup will have come together.