I've been hankering for some really good chicken noodle soup. Some homemade, 100% from scratch, chicken noodle soup. I looked all over the internet for recipes, but many of them said to use store bought chicken stock. Now, there's certainly nothing wrong with that...I've used it plenty of times in the past. But I really wanted to make my own. Some recipes (Paula Deen's comes to mind) had homemade chicken stock, but all kinds of weird ingredients that one doesn't usually associate with chicken noodle (like mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and heavy cream?..no thanks).
I finally found a regular 'ol traditional Chicken Noodle Soup recipe from Tyler Florence. I'm not really a fan of Tyler's...I've never seen his show and I wouldn't recognize him if I saw him on the street, but his recipe was by far the best I found (with the exception of the turnips...I left those out). Yes, making soup this way takes a little extra time and effort, but not much, and it's DEFINITELY worth it! Most of the time (1 1/2 hours) the stock is just sitting on the stove simmering. The veggies that go into the stock don't have to be neatly sliced or chopped. You just cut them one or twice, mainly so they fit in the pot. Let simmer then just strain the stock, set the chicken out to cool, and throw out all the veggies (they lose all their flavoring to the stock, so you want new veggies for the actual soup).
And speaking of the soup, I made things a litter easier on myself and less time consuming by buying already chopped onions, celery, garlic, and sliced carrots at the store. Of course you can chop them if you don't mind, but I just didn't feel like it. Honestly, the biggest pain-in-the-but about making chicken noodle soup is picking apart the chicken and shredding the meat, and you'll have to do that anyway...even if you use store-bought chicken stock.
SO! Here's Tyler's amazing recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup. If you really don't want to make your own stock, just substitute store bought in the directions...I promise though, it's not that bad :)
'Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup (From Scratch!)'
Source: Food Network
1 whole chicken (about 3 1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
2 carrots, cut in large chunks
3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
2 large white onions, quartered
1 head of garlic, halved
1/4 bunch fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1. Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot or dutch oven, over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak.
2. Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done. As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
3. Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container. Carefully strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids. Discard the vegetables.
4. Use the stock immediately OR if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, chopped
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
2 quarts of above chicken stock
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Salt and ground black pepper
1. Place a soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
2. Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 5 minutes until tender. Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper.