First things first, let me introduce myself. My name is Laurel & I am a food addict…and by that I mean I eat, sleep, and dream about food. If I could become the next Julia Child without having to go to culinary school, I would do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to do that so in the mean time I am just what I’ve deemed an “expert Pinterest recipe tester”. I have tried so many recipes that there is rarely a time I can’t pull up a recipe for any occasion to share with friends & family when needed.
Does anyone else just love winter for the simple fact that you can bundle up and binge watch Netflix all day?
That’s why this is my favorite time of the year and what I like to call “comfort food season.” It is the season between November-February when it is cold enough to want a warm hearty meal every day of the week without having to worry about your swimsuit bod. Don’t get me wrong, nothing beats 95-degree weather, fish tacos and a cold beer, but there’s also something so enjoyable about this time of the year.
So what better way to kick off this chilly Thursday than with a cold weather classic- homemade chicken noodle soup!
And by homemade, I mean stock and all. Okay, not homemade noodles, but who really has time for that?
Before we talk about how to make the meal though I need to make a confession…as much as I cook, I have always been scared to make homemade chicken stock. I mean the $2.15 box of stock I can get at Harris Teeter is just a tasty as anything I can make at home right?
WRONG! 1) It is the EASIEST thing in the world to make and 2) the flavor of homemade chicken stock is out of this world! I’ll never go back to boxed stock again.
And if you are anything like me, you buy WAY TO MANY vegetables every week pretending you will eat them. I can’t tell you the number of times I have gone into my fridge only to find week old celery, carrots or onions that I never got around to using. Well, I finally have a use for them. While I may not want to eat the slightly wilted celery on its own, it is perfect for homemade stock.
So here is everything you will need:
Don’t let the idea of removing the skin and bones from an entire chicken intimidate you. Adding it in with your stock not only helps develop the flavor, but it also does all the work for you so you don’t have to cook it separately, and it tastes WAY better than chicken breast alone. As a plus, the chicken holds its flavor for several days. I made my stock and chicken a few nights before I made the soup and I couldn’t tell it was “pre-cooked” it tasted like I had just cooked it.
Very similar to a crockpot recipe, the only requirements for making stock is throwing everything into the pot and letting it marinate for a few hours.
The chicken will cook within the first hour though so when it is completely cooked, pull it out, let it cool off, and then pull off the meat similar to how you would a rotisserie chicken. The secret to the stock is after you have taken off all the meat; put the bones back into the stock for added flavor.
Let the stock cook for a minimum two hours to get that rich flavor you are looking for; for additional flavor you can let it cook longer. I let mine go for almost three hours.
When finished cooking, you can either use a big spoon to scoop out all of the vegetables and bones or pour the stock over a strainer to catch the discarded items with a larger bowl underneath to hold the stock.
If you are using the stock immediately, you are good to go! If you are saving it for another time, it can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for up to one month.
The hard part is now over!
Here is what you will need for the chicken noodle soup:
I would say that the key to a good chicken noodle soup is the seasoning…but you’ve already made that amazing stock so you’re already half-way there. The “hardest” part about making the meal is cutting up all of the veggies and sautéing them to get soft. Make sure you give them a little extra attention so they don’t burn on the bottom of the pot.
Once that is done all you have left to do is bring the broth to a boil, cook your noodles & add the chicken and herbs in. The aroma of warm chicken noodle soup in my house is favorite part of this meal. It creates such a “homey” smell that will have you thinking about how good it was for the next few days.
I hope you all enjoy making this meal as much as I did!