Tips To Prepare Chicken Noodle Soup?The Ultimate Comfort Food!

Whether you want something to warm you on a cold winter night or something warm to ward off a winter cold or you simply love soup, Chicken Noodle Soup is always a winner.   My first attempt at this soup was anything but a culinary delight, but over the years I have learned several of the secrets to preparing a great batch of soup. 

 First, here is the recipe for Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup

 1 stewing chicken, cut up

2 quarts water

1 large onion, quartered

1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

2 celery ribs, sliced

5 chicken bouillon cubes or about 2 Tbsp. chicken base

5 whole peppercorns

4 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

Dash of dried thyme

3 – 4 carrots, thinly sliced

About 2 cups noodles, uncooked

 In a large stockpot, combine the first 12 ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2 1/2 hours or until the chicken is tender.  Remove chicken from broth.  Cool.  Debone chicken and cut into chunks.  Strain broth and skim fat.  Return to stockpot.  Add chicken and carrots.  Boil noodles in separate pan according to directions and add to soup.  If you prefer more liquid, add additional chicken stock.  Serve.

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Tips:

Use a large enough stockpot to accommodate your recipe–a stainless steel stockpot with a steamer basket insert is ideal for conveniently straining your soup.
Do NOT add too much water.
If you have time to make the soup a day ahead, you can refrigerate overnight.  The fat can then be skimmed easily from the top of the soup.
If you prefer extra liquid, add chicken stock rather than chicken broth. 
If you have the time, you might want to make your own chicken stock.  Though a bit more tedious to prepare, the end result is well worth it.  The broth has a much richer flavor than conventional broths. 

 

Chicken Stock Recipe

 3 to 4 lbs. whole chicken, cut up, or 3 to 4 pounds necks and back

About 4 quarts of water

2 onions, coarsely chopped

2 carrots, coarsely chopped

2 stalks celery with leaves, coarsely chopped

1 bay leaf

2 sprigs thyme or 1 tsp. dried

4 sprigs parsley with stems

8 peppercorns, cracked

 Place the steamer basket in the stockpot.  Place the chicken in the basket and fill the pan with water to 1 inch below the large holes in the steamer basket.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  With a large serving spoon, skim off the froth (fat and scum) that rises to the surface of the water and discard.  Add the balance of the ingredients.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan (if you have a waterless stockpot, open the vent), and simmer for about 3 hours.  Do not allow the stock to return to a boil.

 To strain the stock, lift the steamer basket above the liquid level and press the juices out with a large serving spoon.  The basket contents can be discarded or reserved and frozen as a starter for your next batch of stock.

 To remove the fat, place the stock in the refrigerator.  When it has cooled, the fat and debris will rise to the surface.  Skim off and discard.

 To store, package in 1 cup quantities and freeze up to 3 months.

Marcia Klun is a former teacher and an experienced cook as well as the owner and webmaster of www.thegourmetscookware.com, a site that offers quality stainless steel products, such as waterless cookware sets, stockpots (http://www.thegourmetscookware.com/stockpots.html), cutlery, skillets, flatware, and other gourmet cooking essentials.  In addition, the site offers relevant information about waterless cooking and provides a variety of healthy recipes that can be adapted to waterless cookware.

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