Obviously, chicken noodle soup is not medicine, it’s… well, it’s soup. But in the cold damp weather, when you’ve got a cold or cough or sore throat, it certainly warms you and makes you feel better. Because it is homemade, by your Mom, Grammy, or beloved Aunt, there is a lot of love being dished out. It is made with fresh chicken, vegetables, stock, noodles, herbs & spices, so it is packed with protein and vitamins. All these things together make this chicken soup “Grammy’s Penicillin”, a sure way to get on the road to recovery.
Aside from the health benefits, it is hot, hearty, delicious and filling, perfect on cold, damp days & nights with some crusty bread to make you feel warm, full, and yes, loved.
I make this for my mother in law as it is one of the few things she will eat. At 94, she has no interest in eating anymore. She picks at the chicken, noodles, and vegetables, but she loves the stock. At least that’s something.
My kids all love it, even the little grandkids gobble it up. It’s just so good.
For years I have used extra fine kosher egg noodles in this soup. Recently I found Reames egg noodles in the frozen foods section of the grocery store. I’m sure they have been there forever, I just never saw them before. So I bought two packages for future experimentation.
I’ve been making a lot of soups and stews lately as it has been cold, damp, and rainy for the last bit of forever, and today was chicken noodle soup day. I used the frozen noodles and I loved them.
So here is what you do: In a big stockpot, place a 4 to 5 lb whole chicken that you have removed the giblets from, rinsed inside and out, and generously sprinkled with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Pour 3 – 1qt cartons of chicken stock (not broth) into the pot with the chicken. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until chicken is falling apart. Remove all the chicken, bones, skin, etc. from the pot to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Set aside to cool. To the pot add 6 – 8 medium carrots, peeled and chopped, 4 – 6 stalks of celery, chopped, and 1 large yellow or white onion, peeled and chopped. Stir in 1T dried thyme, 1T dried parsley, and a 4th quart of chicken stock. Bring it back to a boil over medium. While it returns to a boil, pick over all the chicken in the bowl, discarding skin & bones and chopping all of the meat into bite sized pieces. Return all the meat to the pot, stir in 1 – 12 oz pkg (Reames) frozen egg noodles, and bring back to a boil. Cover and simmer 20 minutes, then stir. Taste, adjust seasonings, simmer covered 10 more minutes, and serve.
If you can’t find the frozen noodles, or prefer the extra fine dry kind, that’s fine. They don’t take but a few minutes to cook, so add them after 20 minutes of simmering with 10 minutes to go. They absorb a lot more liquid though, so depending on your preference you may need to add more stock.
There it is, the be-all, end-all, cure-all, best-all around chicken soup ever! Enjoy!