Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Home Made Chicken Noodle Soup

It seems like just instinct...the weather starts getting a little cooler...or you look up and realize it is time to switch the calendar to October...and it's when you realize - it has become fall. Your weekends are filled with enjoying every last day that might be above freezing. Usually at apple orchards or vineyards watching others with the same ideas as you all in search of the perfect pumpkin and everyone in awe of the sun shining through the beautiful colors shining through the trees. For example...


That is where I was, enjoying every last fall day I could and wanting to do one last thing...make homemade chicken noodle soup. In true fashion, I have actually never made home made chicken noodle before, but once that pot started simmering and the smells filled my kitchen, I knew that it was going to be good. There really couldn't be much easier than putting together a combination of wonderful ingredients, like chicken, veggies, herbs and noodles.

The one thing I found is that this soup takes just a bit of commitment with the making of the broth and then putting the soup together. All in all, it can take up to 4 hours to make sure you have enough time for the flavors to truly meld together and everything is ready to eat. My trick was to make the broth one Saturday while I was also doing cleaning around my house and then Sunday evening, at was very easy to reheat the broth and add all the tasty extras to have a wonderful dinner. Plus, with making the broth ahead of time, you could use only part of it for the soup and freeze the rest for future chicken broth needs. On this particular day, I used the whole broth making the soup and then had left overs during the week.

 

Chicken Noodle Soup

Broth Ingredients:
  • Whole chicken, thawed - approx 4-5 lbs
  • 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium size onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 Sage leaves
  • 4 springs fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp dried oregano or 4 sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 12+ cups of water
  • kosher salt
Soup Ingredients:
  • Whole cooked chicken, shredded
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 springs fresh thyme
  • 1 lb egg noodles
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Preparation:
For the Broth:

  • Take your whole chicken (completely thawed) and rub (season) with kosher salt. Let sit for approx 5-10 minutes.
  • While the chicken is resting, chop all of your vegetables, gather all your dry spices together and tie your fresh herbs together with cooking twine.
  • Rinse the salt from the chicken and pat dry with towel (or paper towel). Place in large stock pot (8 quart or more).
  • Add the chopped vegetables, herbs and spices to the pot. Top with water. The goal is to have all parts of the chicken covered, so start with 12 cups and if that is not enough, add more water until the chicken is covered. Top with a little more salt.
  • Turn burner on medium to medium high and bring broth to a boil (approx 10-15 minutes). Once at a boil, lower the temperature, bring to a simmer and cover. Let brother simmer for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  • Cool completely. Remove veggies, herb bunch and sage leaves and toss. When chicken is cool enough, place in a storage container or zip lock bag. Strain broth to remove any excess bits of veggies, herb or chicken. Store both broth & chicken in containers in fridge until soup is ready to be made.
Preparation:
For the Soup:

  • Remove the broth from the fridge and pour into large stock pot over medium heat. Cover to quicken the heating process.
  • Remove the chicken from the fridge, remove the bones and shred into small pieces. Add to broth.
  • Chop the celery, carrots, parsnips, and onion. Tie fresh thyme sprigs together with cooking twine. Add both to pot with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring soup to a boil and add the noodles. Cook another 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve, let cool and enjoy.
Happy Cooking!

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