Famous Chicken Noodle Soup

Now, keep in mind… I’m no chef.  But since I get requests for my homemade chicken noodle soup pretty regularly (and I’ve probably made it once a week for the past 11 years), I’m going to refer to it as “famous” from this point forward.  It’s just down-home goodness.

Is it hard?  Not really.  Once you do it once or twice, you can do it once a week for the next 11 years too.  Seriously.  It’s simple, but since it’s homemade, it’s got that extra “love” that makes it extra delicious (or so  I like to believe).

First of all, this recipe does take some time, but it’s not really time in front of the stove or sink.  It’s just downtime.  I love to make this soup on Sundays, when I can get the recipe started, do a little laundry, tiny up my room, and get back to it a few hours later.  For a weeknight dinner, you can always prep the soup somewhat (by roasting the chicken the day/night before) to save time, but I believe it’s worth the wait (usually around 2.5-3 hours total).

Famous Chicken Noodle Soupphoto(34)

Ingredients:

1 whole fryer chicken

1-2 Wyler’s chicken boullion cubes (optional – if you’re making your own stock)

Equal parts celery, diced carrot, and celery (I fill a 4 cup container with all three, but you could do less if you want).  For me, it’s around 2 sticks of celery (sliced into half moons ’cause I like them that way and roughly chopped), 3-4 large carrots (peeled and chopped), and 1 medium onion (diced)

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

approximately 4-6 cups of chicken stock **note:  you can use either water + boullion cubes OR you can make your own stock, which is what I try to do (recipe below)

egg noodles (I use No Yolks because they have no cholesterol)

extra virgin olive oil

kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

parsley and/or celery leaves for garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Place the whole fryer chicken in a large stockpot, along with enough water to cover half of the chicken and one chicken boullion cube (optional). ** Bake for approximately 1.5 hours, depending on the size of the chicken.  You’ll know it’s done when a) it starts to smell delicious and b) when the legs start to fall away from the body.

photo(35)**At this point you are going to make your own chicken stock, this is when you would start it.  If I’m adding a rotesserie chicken to the soup to save time (and not baking my own), I’ll at least use the chicken carcass to at least  flavor the stock.  Otherwise, I might use a chicken breast to help flavor it, along with one onion (quartered), a few carrots (sliced and roughly chopped into 2 inch sections), 3-4 cloves of garlic, some black peppercorns, dash of kosher salt, and 2 bay leaves.  Let these flavors simmer on the stovetop in a stockpot until the chicken is done, around 2 hours.

As the chicken is nearing completion (aka, smells really delicious), in a stockpot over high heat, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil and the minced garlic.  Once it’s nice and fragrant (about a minute or so), add in the diced onion, carrot, and celery.  Reduce heat to med-high and frequently stir the vegetables until the onions are translucent.   At this point, add in the chicken stock (if you’ve made your own, use a strainer to weed out the larger veggies, peppercorns and bay leaves.  If you haven’t, just add 4 cups of water with one chicken boullion cube).  While that is coming to a boil, debone the chicken and either chop it into bite sized pieces or shred the meat and add it to the pot.  Bring the entire soup to a boil, then add a handful or two of egg noodles.  Once they are done, according to package instructions (time-wise), I like to  add a little chopped parsley (or celery leaves) for garnish, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

I serve this soup with good old Saltine crackers, just because they’re the kind I grew up with, but it would also be good with artisan bread slices or in a homemade bread bowl.

photo(33)Is it delicious?  Yes, I can guarantee that.  Is it hard?  Maybe the first time, but not so much after afterwards.  I can almost promise you that once you get this one recipe down, you’ll be making it  forever.  And your family will request it often!  Good luck and happy cooking!

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