Chicken Noodle Soup

I think every family needs a go to chicken noodle soup recipe.   When sickness is running it’s course through the household nothing is better than homemade chicken noodle soup.  (And to be honest, I like homemade chicken noodle soup even when everyone is well.)  My recipe is a compilation of so many recipes and keeps evolving over the years.  However, I think I’ve gotten it mostly perfected at this point.  The base recipe is a Rachel Ray recipe (I love her- she’s fun and all her stuff is usually quick and simple).  The thing I love about her recipe that I personally think makes this recipe amazing is that she adds parsnips to the mix of traditional onions, celery, carrots.  It adds this sweet bite that makes this soup stand out.  And, I must give a shout out credit to my friend Tara Thompson putting me onto this recipe.  The thing I don’t love about this recipe  (although it makes it quick and easy) is that it calls for chopped chicken breast rather than softer shredded chicken which I prefer.

I came across a technique from another Italian Chicken Dumpling Soup recipe that I love and have since started my soup that way to jazz up the broth and get the softer shredded chicken that I prefer in my Chicken Noodle Soup.  And the latest addition, is Homemade Egg Noodles inspired by my good friend Emily.  I’m still not sure whether I prefer them to store bought noodles.  My favorite thus far are Grandma’s egg noodles and you find them in the freezer section of the grocery store.  They are kinda like these homemade noodles, but turn out more uniform in shape and texture.  This trick I learned from Nancy Pierce who was the sweetest and made chicken noodle soup for my family back when my 3 month old twin Camden was in the hospital with RSV, and I was running back and forth between the hospital and home trying to nurse both twins in two different places.  And it’s times like those which brings home my original point that every family needs a homemade chicken noodle soup recipe.

CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP

Ingredients:

  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped (can reserve any leaves to throw into soup at the end)
  • 1/2 C white wine (optional)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 12 C water
  • 4 Tbsp chicken base
  • 1/2- 3/4 lb wide egg noodles
  • A handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • A handful fresh dill, chopped
  • Other fresh herbs to taste (I have sage, rosemary, oregano, and thyme all growing in my backyard so I always chop up some of each and toss that in along with any celery leaves as well)

Directions:

  1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium0high heat until just smoking.
  3. Add chicken, skin side down, and cook until well browned, 6-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer chicken to plate and discard skin.
  5. Drain off all but 1-2 Tbsp fat and return pot to medium heat.
  6. Add all the chopped vegetables (parsnips, carrots, celery, onion), salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are softening and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add wine and cook, scraping up any browned bits until almost dry, about 2 minutes (you could totally omit this step, but I like the richness the white white adds to the broth).
  8. Add the water, chicken base, chicken thighs, and bay leaves back into the pot.  Bring it to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  9. Now you could (if desired make your own egg noodles).
  10. Remove chicken to plate and let cool slightly before shredding.
  11. Meanwhile add in your egg noodles and cook until cooked through.  I find this usually takes 20-25 minutes for homemade fresh type noodles, less if they are the dried store bought kind.  Once chicken is shredded, toss that back in too.
  12. Lastly, stir in all the fresh herbs and enjoy!

*If you really want to simplify the whole thing you could just fry up the veggies in about 2 Tbsp olive oil, then add the broth, bay leaves, and diced chicken breast.  Bring to a boil.   Then after two minutes, add in the noodles until cooked.  Then, stir in the herbs.

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