Monday, October 14, 2013

Completely Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Recently I've been doing more batch cooking to make dinners easier for myself during the week. I prepare a big batch of meat all at once, then use it in multiple meals. Not only is it cost-effective, it really does make pulling dinner together much quicker. Last weekend I wanted to make a few pounds of chicken to shred, and I decided to poach the chicken so I could make my own stock. Of course, chicken noodle soup was one of the first meals I thought of, to use both the stock and the shredded chicken.

I've been making chicken noodle soup for a long time -- first with boxed stock and store-bought noodles, and later, with boxed stock and homemade noodles. This was the first time I'd ever made it completely from scratch, and it was a huge success. I can say with certainty that any semi-homemade version I make going forward is just not going to measure up.

This does require quite a bit of time to prepare -- making the noodles and drying them, simmering the stock for a couple of hours -- but it was a great weekend activity for us. The boys loved helping me make the noodles, and I was able to get other things done while the stock was simmering. And the time spent was beyond worth it. The flavor of the stock was so deep and rich, and the noodles were so chewy and flavorful, rich with the flavor of cooking in the stock. Chicken noodle soup is one of the humblest yet most delicious dishes in the world, in my opinion, and this version is just perfect.

I'm giving you the full recipe for the noodles below (you'll only need about 3/4 of the noodles it yields, depending on how noodle-y you like your soup) and the full recipe to make a gallon of stock (you'll only need about half of the stock and a quarter of the chicken for the soup). But having egg noodles, stock, and chicken on hand is never a bad thing, right?

Completely Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

For the noodles:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 egg yolks
1 egg
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup water

Make a well in the center of the flour. Add egg yolks, egg and salt; mix thoroughly. Mix in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is stiff, but easy to roll. Knead for about 5 minutes adding additional flour if necessary to make a dough that is not sticky. Divide dough in 3 or 4 equal parts. Roll dough, one part at a time, into thin rectangle on well floured board, to less than 1/8 inch thick. Make sure that your dough is well floured. Roll up each piece of dough into a log, then cut across the log in 1/4-inch strips. Cut the long strips into shorter strips, to the length you desire your noodles. Place cut noodles onto a baking rack to dry, for at least 2 hours.

For the stock:

3 pounds bone-in chicken, light and dark meat (I used chicken legs and breasts)
Salt and pepper
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled, quartered, root attached
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme
16 cups water

Rub chicken generously with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of a stock pot. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay, and thyme. Pour in the water and cover. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer, covered, until chicken is cooked through, about 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred; reserve. Return the chicken bones to the pot and increase heat to high. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking, uncovered, until stock is rich in color and reduced slightly, at least 1 hour. Strain into a plastic container.

For the soup:

4 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery from the heart, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup white wine
8 cups chicken stock
1/2 to 3/4 pound egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas

Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until vegetables are tender. Stir in the shredded chicken. Add the wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon, until reduced. Add the chicken stock and heat to boiling. Stir in as many noodles as you want; cook until noodles are chewy, 8 to 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Reduce heat and stir in the peas. Serve.

1 comment:

Angie said...

This looks so good!