June 11, 2009

Chicken Noodle Soup

There is nothing in this world like homeade soup. In fact, it was really one of the first culinary tasks I decided I had to have just right. My mom always made the best soups...chicken and rice, vegetable beef with barley, turkey noodle. All of them were simple in ingredients, yet completely rich and robust. My first attempts were mute. No flavor. After a few varied attempts I got it though, and have been happy as a clam with it ever since. The key is a good stock. A store-bought broth will be okay here. But, like everything else, homeade is so much better! This makes a large batch..but not HUGE. A dinner and a couple of lunches worth.

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 lb shredded or diced chicken (white or dark meat)
3 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 lb pasta (I like "homeade-style" egg noodles)
3 quarts chicken stock (recipe follows)
2 tsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in a large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering, 2 minutes or so. Add carrots and onion, and saute for 3 minutes or until onions are translucent. Slowly add in the chicken stock, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the chicken as well as the pasta. Lower heat to a simmer. Cook for about 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Stir in parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

* I usually just pull the meat off the chicken carcass before I make the stock to use in soup. If there isn't enough leftover, do not fret! Just roast a couple of bone-in breasts or thighs in the oven (rub with olive oil, season with salt and pepper...425 for 40 minutes) and use that instead.

Chicken Stock

carcass from chicken (meat reserved)
1 large onion, quartered
4 carrots, halved
3 stalks celery, VERY roughly chopped
2 tbsp kosher salt
8 whole black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
1/2 bunch parsley leaves and stems
2 tbsp olive oil
4 quarts water

Heat olive oil in large dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add in onion, celery, and carrot. I do not bother to peel anything, celery leaves are cool, and for the parsley - use those leftover stems! The beauty of stock is that you turn trash into treasure. Saute your veg for about 5 minutes or so, a little color on them is a good thing.

Nestle the chicken carcass, and any additional scraps, bones, etc. into the vegetables. I will add leftover pan sauce or gravy if I have that as well. Slowly add enough water to cover the carcass. Add salt, peppercorns, bay leaves and parsley. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook as long as you can, stirring occasionally. 8 hours is preferable, but you have a pretty decent result at 6.

Strain into a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate overnight. I actually use a pitcher. It fits into the fridge better, and it's narrower at the top so it's easier to remove the fat that has settled at the top. The next day, use a large spoon to remove the fat layer from the top before using or freezing. This gives the stock a much better flavor, in addition to removing unnecessary calories.


Hilary said...

Sill question, but what kind of grill do you have? I have been obsessivly researching a new grill and can't decide on one. I know we want a rotisserie attachment. thank and these recipes look amazing!

michelle said...

Yum, comfort food at it's best!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh that looks so good and conforting and the pic is great!!

Maryanna said...

I love chicken noodle soup. It's the ultimate comfort food for me. It looks delish!

Kevin said...

With this cold that I have had the last few days a homemade chicken noodle soup would have been great!