It’s cold and flu season in many parts of the country (including here, despite being 90 flipping degrees outside – in NOVEMBER), so I thought I’d share one of my favorite recipes (a Tyler Florence classic!) for Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. Preparing a pot of this soup is a great lazy weekend activity that – depending on the amount of time and energy you’d like to commit – can be made considerably easier with the substitution of store-bought chicken stock. I love the ability to control the level of sodium in the stock – not to mention the incredible flavor of the homemade version – so go for it if you can!
HOMEMADE CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP
Yields: 2 quarts
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 quarts chicken stock (recipe follows)
- 8 ounces uncooked egg noodles
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional)
- 1 whole chicken (approximately 3 to 3/12 pounds), giblets discarded
- 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
- 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
- 2 yellow onions, quartered
- 1 head garlic, halved
- 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
To make soup:
- 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, or until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.
- 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.
- Add 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.