September 21, 2010

What's Cookin': Chicken Noodle Soup

Holy sheep I had a busy kitchen day. I made Apple Cinnamon Muffins, a double batch of pancakes, two loaves of bread, then put on a big batch of this wonderful soup at 2:30 to make the house smell delicious. And while that was cooking I made a batch of Ridiculous Cinnamon Rolls (this time with cream cheese frosting) and a loaf of the above mentioned beer bread to go with the soup.

I had totally planned something different for dinner, but when I woke up this morning and it was cold enough to wear pants and a jacket for half the morning I decided it was time for soup. I am seriously considering having nothing but soups and stews all winter long... That might not go over so well though.

This soup turned out deliciously well for a "hey I've never made chicken soup so let's make something up". With a bit of input from Ben during the final pre-dinner taste test, we got it to what I consider Chicken Noodle Soup perfection. This soup had the perfect amount of chicken and pasta and was not too heavy in either the "goodies" or the broth. Perfect balance.

I made a loaf of Beyond Easy Beer Bread from Farmgirl Fare. I made the "Herb and Garlic" variation by using 1 tsp garlic powder and 1 Tbs Italian seasoning. Also, I used Miller Genuine Draft as my beer, since that's what we had (if y'all want to make the same bread). We both loved this bread and I will be adding it to my "things to serve with dinner" list. I'd like to experiment with a few different variations and beers. (Like cheddar and herb, next time I have cheese.)

Before we get into the recipe I want to give you a few notes - I used dark meat as I think it gives the dish more flavor, but if you're opposed for whatever reason, use breast meat. 1-2 breasts should do it, depending on size. If you're using meat with fat on it, leave the fat on until the end, as this will also add more flavor.

The "salt and pepper to taste" amounts could vary greatly depending on your desired outcome. I wound up putting in quite a bit of salt (probably 3 Tablespoons, maybe more), but I had not salted the original batch of stock I used, so it needed it. Just taste as you go and make it to your liking.

Chicken Noodle Soup
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
4-5 chicken thighs, whole
6 C chicken stock/broth (homemade if possible)
3 Quarts water
2 bay leaves
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbs minced onion (for added flavor)
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tsp poultry seasoning (or thyme, marjoram, sage, etc.)
1 tsp basil
Dash cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lb pasta (I used bow ties)

In a large stock pot saute onions in about 2 Tbs oil until softened. Add carrots and celery and let cook for about 2 minutes. Add chicken thighs, moving around to let them touch the bottom. Let cook a bit to get some color on them. Add stock, water and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium and let simmer with a lid slightly tilted. Allow to cook as long as you'd like/need, but chicken should be ready after about an hour. Remove chicken and shred (remove fat as well, if needed). Return chicken to pot. Add pasta to simmering soup about 15 minutes before serving and cook until tender.

This post is linked to :: Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Happy Eating!


Farm Girl said...

Oh it sounds wonderful. I bet you are tired with all of that cooking. I bet it was fun though. It might even be cooler tomorrow. The wind is blowing tonight.
All of it sounds wonderful.
I am so glad you are a good cook. :)

Valerie said...

This soup sounds wonderful. I like your idea of stews and soup all winter long!

I'm not going to quit. I was just feeling really frustrated with myself. Thank you for the tip to increase water drinking. That's a good idea and would be much better than the late night snacking I tend to do.

Jennifer said...

I'm so inspired by your kitchen ,dear girl! I am going to attempt the beer bread tonight for a new church couple. I hope I don't scare them away :) exciting!

NetRaptor said...

Oooh, you cook the chicken straight into the soup the way the How to Cook Without a Book lady does it!

I need to man up and try it. I've been too scared.

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