It would seem as though everyone already knows how to make this classic soup, and many do, but not many know about the few tips and tricks that will take your traditional chicken noodle soup from yummy to outstanding.
A few weeks ago I was sniffly, sick and my boys were starting to get sniffly sick so I knew we needed some good chicken soup. Did you know some research shows it helps heal you, similar to antibiotics? I’m for delicious soup antibiotics any day. I was checking my recipe with some others around the web and found inspiration here. Of course, quality ingredients are a good start. Buy all natural or organic when you can. I like to serve my soup with lemon wedges and if I’ve added a little too much salt, some cream.
1 whole chicken, cut up (ask your butcher to do this for you)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, sliced
8 cups water
2-3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, finely sliced
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic (Optional)
3 ounces dried egg noodles (I like these spelt ones)
salt, pepper, fresh parsley, lemon wedges and fresh parmesan for serving
In a large dutch oven or soup pot heat olive oil and onion over medium heat, brown for about 5 minutes then scootch the onions to the edge and add the chicken. You might have to brown the chicken in two batches, depending on how wide your pot is. Let chicken cook until golden brown on both sides, about 10 minutes, season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour water, bay leaf and garlic clove in with the chicken/onions (returning any batch chicken back to the pot) and bring to a boil, boil for 20 minutes. After boiling, remove chicken, set aside to cool and strain golden stock into a bowl, removing the onions. Now, I like to put my stock in the fridge or freezer so that the fat will congeal to the top and I can remove it before continuing on with my soup. This is a matter of preferance and if you want to do this, make sure you give your stock enough time to cool in the fridge before moving on with the final stages of the recipe.
Remove the meat from the breasts and dice/shred to go back into the soup (or dark meat if you like, the breast meat is drier and is better in a soup). You can use the remaining meat for another dish (chicken and rice, enchiladas, etc), chicken salad or pop in the freezer to use for a casserole at another time.
Wipe out your pot and return to medium heat. Add carrots and celery and saute about 2 minutes, just until sizzling, then pour the 8 cups of stock from earlier back into your pot. Cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes then add in the egg noodles, cooking about 3-5 minutes. Add back in diced chicken JUST before serving, stir to combine and reheat and then ladle into bowls. Serve with additional salt and pepper if needed, fresh parsley, lemon wedges and a few grates of fresh parmesan. Enjoy.