Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Classic Chicken Noodle Soup

Classic, but with a few technical improvements. It’s October, the official soup season as far as I’m concerned. And no soup season is complete without a bowl of classic chicken noodle soup!

Nothing is more comforting than a bowl of chicken noodle soup!

Although chicken noodle soup recipe is a fairly standard recipe, we are making a few improvements with this soup:

  1. We are not adding the veggies we used for flavouring our stock back into the final soup. Snack on them, but do not add them back – they will be too mushy!
  2. The optional step in the recipe strongly suggests removing the breast meat from the chicken after around 20 minutes of cooking. White meat is too lean and prolonged cooking, even over the gentlest heat, will resut in the fibers contracting, squeezing out all of the mosture and becoming dry and tough. So let’s take extra few seconds to gently and very carefully remove the meat and set it aside. This will result in a flavourful soup AND juicy chicken meat.
  3. MSG packed bouillon cube? Thanks, but no thanks. Although it’s a pretty known trick to bring more flavour to the soup, we can pull off an excellent soup without it. Simply use good quality chicken stock (low sodium ideally.)
  4. Boiling noodles in the same pot? You can, but why? It will make the broth cloudy. Boil it separately then add to your soup later.

Yields6 Servings

For the broth:
 1 large chicken (3-4 lbs,) equivalent amount of chicken thighs/drumsticks will also work
 1 yellow onion, split in half
 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
 2 sprigs of freshy thyme, or 1/4 tsp dry thyme leaves
 2 bay leaves
 3-4 quarts of chicken stock or water, see step 1
 kosher salt
For the soup:
 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
 2 celery stalks, chopped
 2 cups noodles of choice
 Other optional ingredients such as: onions, parsnips
 Optional fresh herbs of choice: freshy thyme leaves, fresh dill, fresh parsley
 kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1

Place all of the ingredients in the pot, add a healthy pinch of salt and pour stock or water over the chicken almost completely submerging it. You will need at least a 5 quart pot.

Water works just fine, however, chicken stock results in much more flavourful soup.

2

Bring the contents of your pot to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer and cover the pot. As the soup comes to a boil, skim some of the foam/impurities that rise to the top.

You will need to cook this for 60-90 minutes until the chicken is very tender, cooked through and falling off the bone.

3

Optional, but highly recommended step.

After 18-25 minutes of simmering the soup, check the internal temperature of the chicken breast, to ensure it reached the safe internal temperature of 165°F. Then carefully, using forks, detach the breast from the carcass and remove to a plate; set aside for later.

The reason for this is that the dark meat full of connective tissue, can withhold prolonged simmering time, however, chicken breast - cannot. As it cooks, even on gentle simmer, the fibers will contract, squeeze out all of the juices and become dry and tough. But if you remove this meat and set it aside, you will end up with exceptionally flavourful soup with tender breast meat. In my opinion, this extra effort pays off.

If you do choose to make this extra effort, be sure to be very careful as stock/chicken will be very hot.

4

When your chicken is falling off the bone, strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve removing all of the impurities. Set chicken meat aside, you will shred it with forks after it cools down and add it back to the soup. Discard the bay leaves and the veggies (carrots and celery.) Some people choose to keep those veggies, however, they are too mushy. I personally snack on them, but do not add them back to the soup.

When the chicken is a bit cooler and easier to handle, shred the meat. Also shred the meat of the chicken breast that you set aside in Step 3.

Add the chopped carrots, celery and anything else you may wish (parsnips, onions.) Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. Season the soup well with salt and pepper. Towards the end of cooking, add the shredded chicken meat back until heated through.

5

You can add noodles in Step 4, however, they will make the broth cloudy. As such, I recommend bowling them in a separate pot according to the package instructions and adding cooked noodles at the same time as you add back the chicken meat, until heated through.

6

Remove the soup from heat and add the fresh herbs of choice. Serve and enjoy!

Ingredients

For the broth:
 1 large chicken (3-4 lbs,) equivalent amount of chicken thighs/drumsticks will also work
 1 yellow onion, split in half
 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
 2 sprigs of freshy thyme, or 1/4 tsp dry thyme leaves
 2 bay leaves
 3-4 quarts of chicken stock or water, see step 1
 kosher salt
For the soup:
 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
 2 celery stalks, chopped
 2 cups noodles of choice
 Other optional ingredients such as: onions, parsnips
 Optional fresh herbs of choice: freshy thyme leaves, fresh dill, fresh parsley
 kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Directions

1

Place all of the ingredients in the pot, add a healthy pinch of salt and pour stock or water over the chicken almost completely submerging it. You will need at least a 5 quart pot.

Water works just fine, however, chicken stock results in much more flavourful soup.

2

Bring the contents of your pot to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low to maintain a gentle simmer and cover the pot. As the soup comes to a boil, skim some of the foam/impurities that rise to the top.

You will need to cook this for 60-90 minutes until the chicken is very tender, cooked through and falling off the bone.

3

Optional, but highly recommended step.

After 18-25 minutes of simmering the soup, check the internal temperature of the chicken breast, to ensure it reached the safe internal temperature of 165°F. Then carefully, using forks, detach the breast from the carcass and remove to a plate; set aside for later.

The reason for this is that the dark meat full of connective tissue, can withhold prolonged simmering time, however, chicken breast - cannot. As it cooks, even on gentle simmer, the fibers will contract, squeeze out all of the juices and become dry and tough. But if you remove this meat and set it aside, you will end up with exceptionally flavourful soup with tender breast meat. In my opinion, this extra effort pays off.

If you do choose to make this extra effort, be sure to be very careful as stock/chicken will be very hot.

4

When your chicken is falling off the bone, strain the stock through a fine mesh sieve removing all of the impurities. Set chicken meat aside, you will shred it with forks after it cools down and add it back to the soup. Discard the bay leaves and the veggies (carrots and celery.) Some people choose to keep those veggies, however, they are too mushy. I personally snack on them, but do not add them back to the soup.

When the chicken is a bit cooler and easier to handle, shred the meat. Also shred the meat of the chicken breast that you set aside in Step 3.

Add the chopped carrots, celery and anything else you may wish (parsnips, onions.) Bring to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. Season the soup well with salt and pepper. Towards the end of cooking, add the shredded chicken meat back until heated through.

5

You can add noodles in Step 4, however, they will make the broth cloudy. As such, I recommend bowling them in a separate pot according to the package instructions and adding cooked noodles at the same time as you add back the chicken meat, until heated through.

6

Remove the soup from heat and add the fresh herbs of choice. Serve and enjoy!

Chicken Noodle Soup
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