What can be more comforting than chicken noodle soup? I don't make it too much any more, because our local butcher shop has the best chicken rice soup I've ever tasted. It has big chunks of chicken in not-too-salty broth with tender rice for the amazing price of $3.00/pint. Because it's not too brothy, a pint feeds two of us when I add some chicken broth and extra veggies. I made this batch of soup because of the paella I made recently. When I boned the chicken thighs for the paella, I was left with meaty bones that went into the freezer. I added a chicken breast to the thigh bones for this soup.
Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup
INGREDIENTS: 1 quart chicken broth
2 cups water
3 celery stalks cut in bite-sized chunks
2-3 carrots cut in bite-sized chunks
1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 chicken leg quarter, or 2 chicken thighs, or meaty bones from 10 chicken
1 chicken breast, skin on and bone in
1/2 - 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
DIRECTIONS: Heat chicken broth and water on high in large (5-6 quart) stockpot. While broth is heating, chop vegetables and add to pot with seasonings. Wash chicken well in salted water and add to pot. Bring almost to a boil, reduce heat to lowest setting, cover and cook for 5-6 hours. (It's important that the soup does not boil, not even a low boil.)
Pour soup through a strainer or colander, separating the broth from the chicken and veggies. Pick the meat from the bones, discarding bones, fat and skin. Chop meat into bite-sized pieces.
using all soup at once, return broth to pot, skimming off excess fat. Add the chopped parsley.
Now it's time to cook the noodles. You have two choices: cook them in the broth, then add the chicken and veggies when they're done; or cook them in salted water in a separate pot and add them at the end. I cook the noodles in a separate pot in salted water because I like the taste better and I want as much broth as possible with my soup. If you cook the noodles in the broth, the noodles will use up a good amount of the broth. You also have the choice of discarding the cooked veggies and adding fresh veggies to the pot.