I was mostly spared the ravages of the recent Frankenstorm that clobbered the New York area. I used the time indoors to make a homemade chicken noodle soup, great comfort food for a time in need of comfort. Many outfits, even respectable ones like Mark Bittman, suggest shortcut recipes that can be done in 30-45 minutes start to finish. I suppose that’ll do in a pinch, but if you’re looking for the real deal, it’ll take some time. This recipe, adapted from one of my girlfriend’s family recipes, hit the spot. You’ll thank yourself in the end, and most of the time is just letting the soup simmer so you’re free to do something else.
This basic soup recipe can be served by itself, with noodles (I recommend egg noodles), or matzo balls. It’s also great as an ingredient in any number of dishes that use chicken stock, such as Ravioli with Garlic and White Wine, Thai Coconut Milk Soup, Phở, or Mexican Tortilla Soup.
You’ll instantly see that homemade chicken soup makes all of your dishes even better.
Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 4-5 pound whole chicken cut up (ask your butcher)
- 2-3 carrots peeled and sliced thickly
- 1-2 parsnips peeled and sliced thickly
- 2-3 celery stalks sliced thickly
- 1 white onion roughly chopped
- 1/2 pound-1 pound small egg noodles
- 2 tsp whole peppercorns
Place the chicken in a large pot and fill with water until it's around 1/2 inch above the chicken. Add 2 tsp salt. Cook on high until the water boils, then reduce to simmer. Skim any scum that floats to the top, then simmer for 45 minutes.
Add vegetables and peppercorns to the pot. Return to a simmer and simmer 1-1 1/2 hours until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone.
Remove the chicken and the carrots from the pot and set aside. Adjust the seasoning of the broth, let it cool, and strain it into a large container, discarding the remaining vegetables. Remove the chicken from the bones and roughly chop.
Meanwhile cook egg noodles according to package instructions.
When the noodles are done, ladle into 6-8 bowls and top with chopped chicken and carrots. Ladle the soup on top and serve. Top with parsley and more pepper if desired.
If you have spare soup and noodles, store the broth and noodles separately or the noodles will continue to absorb liquid in the fridge. The broth will last a fair amount of time of the fridge, and many months in the freezer.