Monday, February 21, 2011

Homemade (Feel Better) Chicken Noodle Soup

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Since I had some leftover chicken thighs AND a sick kiddo...I thought I would make some homemade chicken noodle soup.  This is my mom's recipe tweaked with a few ideas from Julia Child...enjoy!  (This is a large recipe...made to have leftovers...scale down as you see fit for your family)

*Edited Jan 2014- my old recipe called for boxed chicken broth, but I have found that with my addition of the herbs, garlic and ginger, my soup base already has amazing flavor.  I enhance it with just a bit of the bouillon but I make sure to use the low sodium.  This soup will seriously make you feel better...its worked every time for my girls.  :)  

8 bone-in chicken thighs
Italian Parsley- one handful
Onion- peeled and cut in half
Celery (choose some that have lots of leaves in the middle...not just stalks) - 2 whole stalks and all the leaves
Herbs:  1 bay leaf, 1 tsp dried thyme, 4 whole allspice berries, 1 Tbsp Turmeric *I recently tried adding Turmeric for even more health benefits, gives a bit of color but doesn't really change the flavor...but its a great anti-inflammatory!   
3 large cloves of smashed garlic, (you can even leave the skin on)
1 inch piece of ginger cut into small chunks 
..just throw it all in and strain it out later...

(add the rest after you strain the stock and add the chicken back in)

1-2 Tbsp of Better than Bouillon
1 cup White French Vermouth or a dry white wine (I use Sauvignon Blanc)

Carrots (baby or sliced)
(spinach or kale..if you like it)
Egg Noodles (or other noodle of your choice)
Red pepper flakes or sriracha (optional)
Parm Cheese (optional)

Prep for stock:
I trim a bit of the fat off the thighs and place them in a large sauce pot.  I peel the onion and halve it and add that to the pot.  I take a handful of parsley (trimming the ends a bit) and throw that in.  Then I cut all the leaves from the celery along with two or three stalks halved and throw that in.  Add the herbs as well.  Lastly, I add water to cover all ingredients to about an inch or so over.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer at least an hour and a half to two hours (may need more)...the chicken should fall off the bone when removed.  You may want to season with some salt and pepper.
Once chicken is ready, remove all ingredients placing the chicken on a cutting board and discarding all the rest.  Remove the skins and any extra fat and shred the chicken.  Remove the rest of the ingredients leaving only the stock, then skim the top of the stock to remove any fatty bits that were left behind.

Prep for soup:
Add chicken back to soup.  Pour in a cup to a cup and a half of the wine and 1-2 Tbsp of the bouillon to your taste.
I use baby carrots and just toss in a couple of handfuls (more or less depending on your taste)  I mince up some celery (don't care for large chunks) and toss that in.  I let this simmer till the carrots are tender.  Adjust seasonings as needed (pepper, salt, etc)  Just before serving I add a cup or two of frozen peas (you can also add spinach here too).  Cook till warm and serve over egg noodles. For the husband and I, we spice it up with some red pepper flakes or sriracha.  Then top it off with some nice salty parm cheese.  And of course, some crusty bread for dipping. 

(most people add potatoes, however, my husband is not a fan so I leave them out.  If you want to use them, add them before adding the carrots.  When they are almost tender, then throw the carrots in.) 

As the old adage states...chicken soup is good for the soul...and sick kids!  :)

Happy cooking!  Enjoy!

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