When throats get scratchy, noses start to slow drip and chills scamper down spines, there’s only one remedy. You know the therapy – but it’s very likely you associate this prescription-free, mom-approved medicine with a red can made iconic by Andy Warhol.
As with every recipe that I spend a considerable amount of time with, I learned a couple unspoken secrets about chicken noodle soup while slow-cooking the soup for a sick hubby this week.
- First, like a bubbling Sprite and a warm blanket, homemade chicken noodle soup has a mystical healing power. It’s warmth spreads through the entire body and its ease of eating pleases even the most sensitive stomachs. It’s also a great low-calorie snack that keeps for days (and the following recipe feeds the masses!). But trust me, the canned stuff can’t even touch the wonderful aroma and pure flavor of the real-deal homemade version, which is why I’ve provided this recipe.
- Seriously people, I will never ever again buy that overly salty, despicably filled with preservatives boxed chicken stock. I don’t even care if it’s organic. The natural broth that was made from my eight-hour slow-cooked whole grass-fed and organic chicken was way too easy. The broth makes the soup so pure and savory. Don’t shortcut with store-bought broth unless you absolutely want to cut time.
- There’s a lot of talk about chicken these days – its health benefits (or lack there of), how these animals are treated and raised, and its susceptibility to dangerous bacteria. I’m not saying push these concerns aside – buy organic and local when available and ask questions about where your food comes from. I don’t like to handle chicken or pry apart its body. But this meat, when cooked right, is truly delicious and tender. And believe me – in my soup recipe, the chicken is NOT the obvious star of the show. It’s a blend of precisely cooked ingredients that remains altogether light.
- Don’t overcook your veggies or your noodles. Don’t cook these two elements with the meat – wait until you have a good broth to cook them in. You don’t want a mushy soup; you do want a lot of different textures.
|E’s Easy Chicken Noodle Soup||
- 1 medium whole chicken (I purchased mine from Whole Foods)
- 3 cloves of garlic
- A handful of fresh thyme
- 5-6 medium sized carrots, chopped into ¼-inch slices
- 1 chopped onion
- 1 stalk of celery
- 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped thyme
- ½ large package of egg noodles (you won’t need the entire bag) cooked with ½ cup of pasta water conserved
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the entire whole chicken in the slow cooker with the springs of time and 3 whole cloves of garlic. Cover with water, should be about 8-10 cups of water depending on the size of your slow cooker. Set to low-medium setting (about 8 hours to cook).
- After 8 hours have passed, remove the chicken from the slow cooker and place onto a drip pan. Pour the broth through a strainer and into a large stock pot along with an additional 4-6 cups of water to dilute, and bring to a simmer. Add all the vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the vegetables to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- While veggies are simmering, cook the egg noodles until just tender and add the ½ cup of pasta water to the stock pot.
- Now, tend to pulling the choice meat from your chicken. Carefully pull off the skin and discard in a bowl. Separate the choice meat from the bones and discard the fat. Be sure to pick through the meat to ensure no bones or unsavory pieces are mixed in with the soup meat. Pull the choice dark and white meat in shreds and chunks.
- Add the shredded chicken and cooked noodles to the stock pot. Add salt (only about ½ teaspoon is necessary) and pepper to taste.