Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chicken Noodle Soup. For you.

Let's talk chicken noodle soup, shall we?
I won't make you read some really long story about my great grandmother making us chicken noodle soup while her cocker spaniel ran around the house with my great grandpa's dentures in his mouth or anything like that (this time).

All I'm going to say is:

1. You can make your own stock (I'll show you how).
2. Those pale yellow droplets floating in the chicken stock- they're super healthy! In Real Food, a book on eating well that I really respect, Nina Plank writes, "chicken fat...contains palmitoleic acid, an antimicrobial monounsaturated fat", and these are proven to fight infections. I'm not a scientist, but I'm going to go with that.

Here's the process:

Place 2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts in large pot.
Cover with 6-8 cups of water.
Add: 1 large onion, 1 peeled carrot (sliced in several large pieces) & 2-3 celery stalks.
Season with sea salt and black pepper.
Bring to a boil, then turn on low and simmer ALL DAY.
OK, you don't have to cook it all day long, but the longer you do, the more flavorful it will be. I would say you will need at least 3-4 hrs. (you can also do this in a crock pot for 6-8 hrs). Add 1-2 cups of water during cooking, as you will lose some of the liquid during this process.
Remove chicken, it will fall off the bones after being cooked so long. Discard bones, set chicken aside.
Strain broth and set aside as well.
That's it! It might take a while, but it shouldn't need much attention once you set it to simmer. Heck, I started the stock, then presumed to clean the house like a crazy lady (I even did the "put a sock on your hand and clean the blinds and ceiling fan maneuver"). Then I played matchbox cars (with my little guy), prepared for Spanish class, pulled some weeds, folded laundry, researched karate classes in the area, and I may have even took a small but mighty power nap- all while it simmered away. Disclaimer: my husband works from home, I didn't sleep with the stove on, and completely unattended to :). I'm doing it, aren't I? the grandmother and the denture story...

Chicken Soup
Melt 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large pot.
Add 1 medium yellow onion (chopped), 2-3 carrots (peeled and sliced), 2-3 celery stalks (chopped) & 1-2 bay leaves.
Season with salt and pepper.
Cook on medium heat 7-10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender crisp (you don't want them to be mushy, just soft enough to pierce with a fork).
Add prepared stock and chicken.
Cook on medium heat for 12-15 minutes.
Add 4 cups of whole wheat noodles (I used Ronzoni Healthy Harvest). Real quick: generally, I don't prefer whole wheat pasta. I've found that it is too thick and doesn't ever quite reach the point of 'al dente'. However, these noodles work perfect for soup, because they soak up all the fabulous broth you've spent all day preparing, and don't seem to get too soggy like regular pasta would).
Bring to a boil and cook 5-7 minutes or until pasta is soft.

Eat it up, every last drop. My picky little eater will only eat the broth, those are his noodles pictured next to my bowl. Nothing gets wasted.

P.S. That bread on the table- that's Peasant Bread, recipe courtesy of Alexandra's Kitchen. It was my first time making this bread, but I will so be making it again. Like, tomorrow. I don't think this bread has the same healing properties as chicken soup, but I'll tell you what- one bite had me feeling blissful. And the smell of our house? Heavenly.



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for saying so, a comment or two keeps me posting ;)

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  3. Sigh.. can you be our cook? I do need to try a new version of chicken noodle. I'm surprised you make it so straight up. It looks good!

    1. You're right- no tricks here! Until a few years ago, I never knew how simple chicken soup is. I tried adding garlic once and regretted it, won't add another thing!

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  5. yum! gotta try that!!! thanks :)

    1. Thanks for checking out the blog, Lena!

  6. Looks delicious! I grew up eating chicken noodle soup so I definitely appreciate this post. (:

    1. Thanks for the comment- You reminded me that we are due to have chicken soup again this week!


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