Monday, November 5, 2012

What's For Dinner: Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup


As I mentioned last week, my main intent in roasting a chicken was to have a leftover carcass (so not an appetizing word, but it is what it is!) that I could use to make chicken noodle soup. Step one to making the soup was making a homemade chicken broth; I did this on day one. On day two, I used the broth to put together the chicken noodle soup, which was actually quite simple to make. The resulting soup was hearty, delicious, and the perfect way to warm up on a cold November night.

Chicken Broth (adapted from this New York Times recipe)
makes about four quarts

1 small chicken carcass (leftover from making a roast chicken)
2-3 garlic cloves, smashed (reserved from the roast chicken, if possible)
1 medium onion, chopped  (reserved from the roast chicken, if possible)
2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped (full disclosure: I used about a dozen baby carrots, chopped)
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
6 quarts (24 cups) filtered water

1. In a large stock pot, add together the chicken carcass, garlic cloves, onion, parsnips, carrots, celery, thyme, and bay leaves. Top with six quarts of filtered water.
2. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low to medium-low and simmer.
3. Use a spoon to remove any foam that forms on the surface of the broth.
4. Simmer, uncovered for two-three hours.
5. Strain the broth through a large colander to remove the chicken, vegetables, and herbs. [Reserve the chicken meat (being careful to remove any bones) and the vegetables. The chicken meat will be used in the chicken noodle soup; the vegetables can be frozen and used later in a stew recipe.]
6. Then strain the broth through a fine-meshed sieve to remove any remaining particles.
7. Cool the broth to room temperature, then place, covered, in the refrigerator. Any remaining fat will congeal on the surface of the broth; you can use a spoon to remove and discard it.
8. Use the broth immediately to make chicken noodle soup (see below!) or freeze in an airtight container.


Chicken Noodle Soup (adapted from this Smitten Kitchen recipe)
makes four servings

8 cups homemade chicken broth (see above)
1 cup chopped parsnips
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 - 1 teaspoon sea salt (season to taste)
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (season to taste)
2 cups (about 2 handfuls) of wide egg noodles
1-2 cups shredded chicken (reserved from making the broth above, or from the roast chicken)

1. Add the chicken broth to a medium stock pot. Bring the broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Add in the parsnips, carrots, and celery. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are slightly tender, about 5-8 minutes.
3. Season the soup to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Add in the wide egg noodles and cook according to the manufacturer's instructions.
5. Once the noodles are nearly cooked, add in the shredded chicken and cook until warm (about 30-60 seconds).
6. Spoon the soup into bowls and serve immediately.
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