Monday, February 1, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup- from scratch

This is one of those recipes that seems daunting but it's actually quite simple. When we're in a hurry for dinner we love getting those rotisserie chickens from the deli- that's the perfect way to start chicken noodle soup. If you don't want to make the soup in the next few days- fine- put the bones and skin in a ziploc bag and toss in the freezer.

When you're ready, put it in a pot. Fill with water- the quantity really depends on how strong you want your soup to be flavored, I filled my stockpot halfway. Then add a rough chopped onion (with skin on), rough chopped celery and other seasonings as you desire although the skins should have pretty good seasoning already- all I do is add a bit of salt if needed (you're going to throw all this out afterwards so don't waste a lot of time chopping). I like actual chicken in my soup- so throw in one or two frozen chicken breasts or if you already have cooked chicken it's a great way to use leftovers.

Boil this concoction for an hour or two until the chicken is no longer pink inside- really you can't go wrong here- if you can smell it and it tastes like soup then it's done. Strain all that icky stuff out of there (kinda gross I know, try to squeeze out all the flavor) then throw it away (if you added chicken breast make sure to shred it before putting back into stockpot), pour your soup back into the pot and return to a boil. Add chopped carrots, celery or frozen mixed veggies and cook until tender. Now for the fun part!

Basic Egg Noodles

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
(can add frozen chopped spinach or other herbs to flavor the pasta)

In a large bowl, stir together the flour and salt. Add the beaten egg, milk, and butter. Knead dough until smooth, about 5 minutes. Let rest in a covered bowl for 10 minutes.

On a floured surface, roll out to 1/8 or 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired lengths and shapes. An easy way to get uniform shapes is to roll the dough up and slice into thin strips. Cook pasta in boiling chicken stock until tender 8-10 minutes.

See? It couldn't be simpler. Or tastier. And if you're like me and hate leftovers- a great way to use the rest- strain off most the broth and serve on top of wild rice. Enjoy!
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