I know, it really sounds like I am boasting... sorry! But you too can make a chicken noodle soup that is more delicious than you can imagine. There are a few old time secrets that can turn a good soup into one that makes the angels sing. And I can't wait to share them with you. An astrick (*) notes tips to a better soup.
4-5 lbs. chicken backs, wings, necks and thighs with skin (any combo) A turkey or a couple of chicken carcasses can be used. When using chicken carcass, add additional chicken pieces such as backs or wings.
4-6 quarts water- or enough water to cover chicken, plus 2-3 inches
mirepoix: combo of onions, carrots and celery
2 onions, skins on and quartered
3 carrots, peeled, cut into 3-4 pieces
3 celery ribs, cut into 3-4 pieces
2 TBS salt
6 peppercorns or more
bouquet garni- bunch of parsley and thyme tied together + 2 bay leaves
1 onion, peeled and chopped into small pieces
6 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch rounds
4 celery ribs, cut horizontally if thick and cut into 2 inch pieces
3 medium potatoes, peeled, and cut into bite size pieces
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
4 TBS chicken bullion
2-4 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
2 bags very thin egg noodles
Put chicken and water in a very large pot over medium heat. Add mirepoix, salt and peppercorns. Bring pot to a simmer, DO NOT BOIL. Skim scum off the top of soup as it develops. *This is a very important step- it will give you a clearer soup. Simmer for 2 hours uncovered.
In a separate large pot, bring water to boil, add salt. Cook thin egg noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
Using a "spider", or large slotted spoon scoop out all chicken and vegetables into a large bowl and then discard. Make sure you get it all. * Do not use these veggies and chicken when serving soup, they have given all of their flavor to the broth.
Taste broth. *If needed add bullion. Be bold! You should have a very full bodied, chicken broth.
Bring soup back to a simmer and add chopped onion, carrots and celery. *Using new veggies gives a second layer of fresh veggie flavor, and taste delicious to eat in your soup.
You can also add boneless chicken and cook in broth at this time. Simmer for 20-30 minutes. Remove chicken when fully cooked and set aside to cool.
Add potatoes, and cook until tender 15-20 minutes. While potatoes are cooking cube chicken. When potatoes are tender add chicken and 3 TBS minced parsley and simmer for 5 minutes. *Using fresh parsley at the very end of cooking enhances the fresh flavor.
Add noodles (as much as you like in your soup) to a wide soup bowl. Ladle hot soup over noodles.
*Always keep the noodles and soup separate. If combined the noodles get soggy. This makes a huge difference in the taste of the soup. When refrigerating, keep soup and noodles in separate containers.
When ready to serve, reheat soup until piping hot and add to cold noodles.
My grandmother taught me how to make this soup. I don't have a recipe, but learned by wathching and doing. This is not rocket science, so relax and enjoy the process. A little less of this or more of that will change the flavor, but it should still be delicious!
Note: I also make this broth for Matzo Ball Soup, Italian Wedding Soup and as stock to freeze and keep on hand.