Last Sunday, I thought I would make chicken soup for dinner. I know it’s not the traditional Super Bowl food, but it was cold where I live and the Mid-Atlantic states were still digging out from that huge snowstorm. I could go for some of this soup tonight!
Instead of watching the pre-game coverage, I was preparing a whole chicken to make chicken soup. I won’t go into details unless you ask, but I will say that cleaning the inside was gross.
For this recipe, I used a chicken just under 4 lbs to feed the 2 of us and have soup and chicken leftovers for dinner the next day. I also used baby carrots so I didn’t have to peel and cut carrots.
Niki’s Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup for a Cold Day
- 1 approx 4 lb whole chicken
- Approx 1 gallon of water
- 4-5 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 1 medium onion, remove the skin (cut in half if you wish)
- Pepper or peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- Egg noodles
Clean your chicken by removing the fat at the neck and bottom openings of the chicken, just underneath its skin. Remove the insides (sometimes they are in a bag that you can just toss or use in another recipe). If it makes you feel better, wear vinyl gloves to do it. Run cool water into the chicken’s bottom opening and let it come out the neck opening. After a few passes, turn it the other way and run water through the neck to the bottom. Do this until the chicken looks clean inside.
Now place it in a pot. I used an 8 quart pot. Fill the pot with cool water up to about 2 to 2.5 inches from the top of the pot (you don’t want to go any higher because the water will flow out once it starts boiling. Bring to a boil and then lower to a medium simmer for 5-6 minutes. You may not agree with me, but I drain off the first boil to get rid of all that fat and gross stuff. My dad is a chef and recommends this method, so my mom and I have been using it and it makes good tasty soup.
Refill the pot with cool water and let it to boil again. Once it reaches a boil, turn down to a medium simmer for 30 minutes. During that time, occasionally skim off and discard the foam that floats at the top.
After 30 minutes, add the celery, carrots, onion, salt, pepper and bay leaves. Let it continue to simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Occasionally skim the foam off and discard.
When done, remove the chicken and place in a casserole dish. Use a straining spoon to remove all the vegetables and whole spices. Strain the broth into another pot using a large strainer. I emptied half the broth into the other pot and the other half into a large Tupperware bowl for the next day. Leave the Tupperware out for a few minutes to cool off and then place it in the refrigerator partially covered – the heat needs to escape.
Bring the broth you are using to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add your egg noodles. I added half a 12 oz bag of egg noodles and followed the package directions. I also added some pieces of the chicken and vegetables.
There’s nothing like homemade chicken soup for a cold day! What’s your favorite cold day food or recipe?