Friday, February 22, 2013

Old Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

I have had either a sinus condition or just the common cold for the past two days and so I really wanted some homemade chicken noodle soup for dinner tonight.  My favorite recipe includes a whole chicken that was roasted in a hot oven before being added to the soup.  My favorite recipe is a combination of several different techniques from several recipes.  Roasting the chicken came from Cuisine at Home.  I added the step of sweating the celery, carrots, and leeks in butter on my own to intensify the flavor and to add much needed salt and pepper to the finished soup.  I think soups are all about building layers of flavors.  Stock in a box was then added to the seasoned vegetables and allowed to simmer briefly.  The roasted chicken was pulled apart and pieces were added to the simmering stock.  I cooked some fine egg noodles separately and added some to each hot bowl of soup (a Rachel Ray tip).  I have found this to be the best way to avoid having the noodles absorb too much of the chicken stock.  I added some fresh parsley off heat and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice just before serving.  Chicken noodle soup is the all-cure for the common cold as we have all been told and this recipe which includes roasted chicken instead of stringy boiled chicken is the winner for me.

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup
Makes 13 servings (1 1/2 cups each)

1 (3-4 pound) whole chicken, seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
2 1/2 cups celery, sliced
1 1/2 cups carrot, sliced
1 1/2 cups leeks, sliced into half-moons, rinsed thoroughly
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 cups chicken stock
Shredded chicken pieces from above plus juices from pan
8 ounces kluski noodles (fine egg noodles)
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Lemon wedges

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roast chicken on a rack in a roasting pan for 1 hour, or to an internal temperature of 165 degrees in the thigh.  Remove from the oven and let rest 15-20 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones in large pieces.

 In a large stock pot, melt butter.  Add celery, carrots and leeks and cook over medium low heat for a couple of minutes just to begin to soften the vegetables.  Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.  Add the stock and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer gently for 5 minutes.  Stir in chicken pieces and any juices from the roasting pan; simmer 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile cook noodles in a separate pot following package directions.  Drain, drizzle with a teaspoon or so of olive oil so that cooked noodles don't stick together.

Stir parsley into soup and squeeze the juice of half a lemon in.  Add desired amount of cooked egg noodles to each bowl upon serving and serve with lemon wedges.

Recipe adapted from Cuisine at Home

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