I’m convinced that our world would be a happier place if more people made Chicken noodle soup for each other. Just think of all the comfort and mirth we’d be sharing…kind of like Whirled Peas (you’ve seen the bumper sticker), only better! Chicken noodle soup is one of those basic foods that, not surprisingly, tastes so much better homemade than from a can. Yes, there’s a few steps involved but they are simple steps that result in something truly comforting. Imagine the goodwill you’ll be creating when you make a pot of homemade chicken noodle soup for your family or a sick friend.
This recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup comes from Tyler Florence of The Food Network (you gotta love a man that cooks!). It calls for making your own chicken stock by simmering the whole chicken with veggies and water. Be sure to use only about 3 quarts of water to make the stock or it will be too weak. In the pot I was using, 3 quarts of water didn’t totally cover the chicken so I turned the chicken over in the pot about half-way through cooking it to make sure the whole thing was cooked. Once you’ve made the stock then it’s on to finishing the soup. Next time I’ll probably double the carrots just because I like lots of carrots in my soup. The recipe calls for using 1-1/2 cups of the chicken meat which was about half of the cooked chicken. Save the unused chicken for another use (chicken salad, enchiladas, a casserole, etc). The finished soup was satisfying and comforting…a perfect meal for a chilly Fall day.
Chicken Noodle Soup
-Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence at foodnetwork.com
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
1 whole free-range chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
2 large white onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
1 turnip, halved
1/4 bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.
Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Use the stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze. Yield: 2 quarts