When it comes to comfort foods, it’s hard to beat a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup. Not only is this beloved classic the perfect dish on cold or rainy days, but it also has qualities that help you battle the symptoms of common cold or flu. With simple ingredients and easy techniques, everyone can enjoy whipping up delicious chicken noodle soup from scratch.
Ingredients for the Best Chicken Noodle Soup
For even more flavor and depth, consider making homemade chicken stock. However, store-bought chicken broth can be used as well if time isn’t on your side. It’s important to choose high-quality ingredients for your soup to achieve the full-bodied taste we all love.
- 1 whole fresh chicken (about 4-5 lbs)
- 6 cups water
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 celery ribs, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 oz dried egg noodles
In addition to these basic ingredients, feel free to customize your soup by adding other vegetables, herbs, or spices that suit your taste preferences.
Creating Your Flavorful Base: Chicken Stock
Step 1: Prepare the Chicken
Begin by rinsing your whole chicken under cold water, making sure to remove any giblets from the cavity. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before place it into a large stockpot.
Step 2: Simmer the Chicken
Add the water and chicken broth to the pot with the chicken, ensuring that the liquid level covers the entire bird. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 90 minutes, skimming off and discarding any foam that surfaces. The chicken should be cooked through, tender, and falling off the bone at this point.
Step 3: Strain and Defat Your Stock
Next, use tongs or a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked chicken from the pot onto a large platter. Set it aside and allow it to cool enough for handling. Meanwhile, strain the cooking liquid through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl, discarding any solids left in the strainer. Allow the stock to rest for a few minutes – this will make it easy to skim nearly all of the fat off the surface using a spoon or ladle. As an alternative, you could also place the strained stock in the fridge or freezer to harden the fat, which can be easily scraped off once it has solidified.
Bringing It All Together: Preparing Your Chicken Noodle Soup
Step 4: Cook Your Vegetables
In a clean, large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the chopped onions, carrots, and celery, stirring occasionally for approximately 10-12 minutes until the veggies are soft. Then, stir in the minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Step 5: Combine All Elements
Add your chicken stock to the pot with the vegetables and bring to a gentle boil. Add the bay leaf along with salt and pepper according to taste, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for about 20 minutes so the flavors can meld together.
Step 6: Shred Chicken and Cook Noodles
While the soup is simmering, shred the cooked chicken using your fingers or two forks, discarding any bones or skin. Cook the egg noodles separately in boiling water until they reach your desired level of tenderness – doing this prevents them from soaking up too much broth when added to the soup. Drain the noodles once they are ready.
Step 7: Finalize Your Soup
Stir the shredded chicken meat into the pot with the simmering soup, followed by the cooked egg noodles. Allow the mixture to warm through for roughly 5 more minutes before turning off the heat. Stir in your chopped parsley, adjusting any seasoning according to taste. Remember to remove the bay leaf prior to serving!
With these steps in mind, you are now equipped with the skills to create delicious and comforting homemade chicken noodle soup perfect for sharing with family and friends. Enjoy!