Chicken Noodle Soup

January 5, 2013

For over 20 years, every time I have gotten sick I have made myself a big pot of Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup. While I doubt the soup is the cure, by the time the soup is gone I invariably feel much better. It’s perfect, because I can re-heat the soup, little by little, requiring only minimal effort for each meal. Perhaps the extra rest is more of a cure than the soup. Today my youngest son got a stomach flu, so I made him a big pot of chicken soup in the hopes that he would be able to eat (and keep down) a healthy meal on his upset stomach. I can’t believe I’ve never posted my recipe for Chicken Soup. Here is my recipe, plus a link to Chris Kimball’s recipe, which had some influence over the evolution of my own soup recipe. 4-stars.

Chicken Noodle Soup is the best medicine for winter flu

Chicken Noodle Soup is the best medicine for winter flu


  1. Today I used chicken thighs, which are great for braising. Sometimes I use boneless breasts if I happen to already have them in my refrigerator, but bone-in chicken is always better for soup.
  2. I used 4-cups of my homemade chicken stock, but you could also use broth from a can or carton. In fact, you could even use a total of 2-1/2 quarts of plain water in this recipe, though the flavor won’t be quite as good.
  3. Chris Kimball recommends just 2 cups of wide egg noodles. I prefer my soup more fully-loaded so used a 9-oz package for fresh, refrigerated pasta.

Rating: 4 stars.
Cost: $9.50 for 3 quarts of soup.
How much work? Medium.
How big of a mess?  Medium.
Start time 10:00 AM. Finish time 12:00 PM.

Chris Kimball’s original recipe is here. The descriptions of how I prepared the recipe today are given below:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 whole chicken (or about 4 pounds of chicken pieces)
2 medium onions
4 large carrot
4 to 5 teaspoons table salt
1 quart chicken broth (4 cups)
1-1/2 quarts water (6 cups)
2 bay leaves
4 springs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 rib celery
2 potatoes
1 package of fresh fettuccine or 3 cups wide egg noodles (5 ounces).
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves

  1. If you are using a whole chicken, break it down into individual pieces (e.g. thighs, drumsticks, breasts, etc). Remove the skin from the chicken and trim away any visible fat. Pat the chicken pieces dry using paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in large dutch oven set over medium-high burner until just smoking. Add half the chicken, meaty-side down, brown for 6 minutes per side. Use tongs to flip and brown the second side for 6 more minutes. Remove the chicken to a clean plate, and repeat the browning process with the remaining chicken (using the same oil).
  3. While the chicken browns, cut your onion into a medium dice. Peel and cut your carrots into 1/4″-thick slices. Also peel your potatoes and cut into 1/2″ dice, and cut your 3 rib of celery into 1/4-” thick slices (but keep the potatoes/celery separate from onions/carrots). Use kitchen twine to tie together your thyme sprigs.
  4. After you remove the second batch of chicken, use the same oil to saute your diced onions and carrots for 6 minutes, using the moisture of the onions to deglaze the pot.
  5. Add the chicken broth and water to the Dutch oven, and arrange the chicken pieces bone-side down. Add 1 tablespoon table salt, 2 bay leaves, thyme bundle, ground black pepper, diced potatoes, and celery slices. Bring the soup up to a gentle boil, then reduce burner to maintain a simmer. Simmer for 50 to 60 minutes until the chicken and vegetables are very tender.
  6. Use tongs to remove chicken from pot. Then use two forks to remove the meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces. Discard the bone. Add the shredded chicken back to soup, and adjust the salt and pepper according to your taste. Stir in minced parsley, and serve.
  7. Allow to cool for 2 hours before refrigerating leftovers. Alternatively you can empty leftovers into two or three 4-cup containers and refrigerate the individual containers.

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