Monday, March 14, 2011

How-To Tuesday: How to Make Chicken Noodle Soup



Alternate title: How to make your husband go absolutely weak in the knees.

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What's that? Your husband's love language isn't homemade chicken noodle soup?

Well.

Make this, and it will be. I guarantee it. That sofa you've had your eye on? A girlfriend's trip to Paris? Make this soup for him, then casually drop into the conversation what you're wanting, and he will be powerless to resist you.

[Not that I'd know anything about that, ahem.]

This is an ancient family recipe, going back generations. It was a staple in the Husband's childhood home, and has become one in ours. It could not be any easier, and I feel it a sin if you waste your life on soup any less worthy.

Step one: Take a whole chicken and throw it in a large stock pot. We love to make this with leftover turkey at Thanksgiving the best. Second in line would be the pre-cooked chickens they sell at Sam's Club. But even just a regular, boring, everyday whole chicken will cook up nicely.

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Add: A few whole carrots (unpeeled), a large onion (quartered, and with the skin left on), a few celery stocks (leaves still attached), a bay leaf, and some salt and pepper. I used a red onion here because it's what I had, but red, yellow, or white - any of them will work.

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Pour in enough water to cover the chicken by a good inch or two. Then plop it on the stove and bring to a boil, lowering the heat and letting it simmer for a few hours at a soft boil.

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During this part of the process, your house will smell divine. Your children will salivate. Text messaged photos sent to your husband's phone will result in meetings being canceled and him walking through the door MUCH earlier than normal. I'm telling you, this soup is like a magnet that pulls your loved ones home.

Once it's simmered, boiled, and married all the lovely flavors together, pour everything through a colander to a large bowl. Notice the splash and spillage of broth out the sides? Tragic is what that is.

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(It's also wise to do this step in the sink. Unless you like the feel of hot boiling lava on your bare feet.)

I like to then re-strain my broth through a very fine colander or cheese cloth to remove any remnant chicken bits. Your broth will have a lovely yellow color and smell positively delicious. At this point, you could freeze your broth and save it for another day or even another cooking purpose. But since our hearts beat to the drum of chicken noodle soup, that is where we'll be headed.

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If I can, I make the broth a day ahead and refrigerate it, bringing all that lovely fat to the surface. It makes it so easy to scrape it up and out - keeping your inner thighs free for other fatty treats. But with this batch I was in a hurry, and we wanted to eat right away, so I poured the broth into two containers and froze them both.

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Splitting it like this made it so that the broth could cool/freeze faster, resulting in a lovely layer of fat just waiting to be removed.

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Pour the now-fatless broth back into your stock pot and put it over medium heat on the stove. By this time, your chicken should be cooled enough to remove all the meat from the carcass. Probably the worst job in this whole process, but a necessary one. Discard the bones and vegetables once all the meat is removed.

Chop your chicken finely. Add it to your broth on the stove.

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Recruit a minion or two with the promise of knife usage and you will find help abundant in the kitchen. Have the minion peel and chop 5-6 carrots. Or ten if you like. Whatever suits your fancy. Then add them to the pot.

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Next comes the step that MUST NOT be skipped. Don't be tempted to throw a few handfuls of rice or (heaven help you) store-bought noodles. The whole point of this soup is the homemade noodles.

Take:
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg. beaten
1/2 egg shell full of milk or cream

Mix all ingredients together, adding more flour or milk to make a pliable dough. Also? We typically double or triple this for a big batch of soup.

What can I say? Girlfriend likes herself some noodles. So do her peeps.

With a rolling pin, roll the dough flat and slice it into strips with a knife or pizza cutter. Don't be worried about getting them all even and perfect. Homemade noodles should be of every height, width, size, and breadth.

Just like people.

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When your broth is at a medium boil, drop your noodles in, one at a time. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.

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Then, ladle up a big bowl. If you are really awesome, serve some warm bread and butter on the side. Then sit back and watch your husband's face carefully. With the first bite, and its earthy, homemade goodness, you will see precisely just how much he loves you. He will be unable to hide it. You will be delighted.

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Now it's your turn. What can you teach us today? Leave the link to your own how-to post in our Mr. Linky below. Then be sure to copy the html code (under the blue button on my sidebar) into your post. Sit back, and wait for the internet to bow at the throne that is your genius.

I'm waiting. Anyone?

Oh well. Next time.

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27 comments:

Julianna said...

This looks so yummy. I always make my own soup, because of the gluten issue.

So, I fear, I'll have to use store bought rice noodles *gasp*

Unless I could modify the recipe... Hmmm, I'll get back to you...

Going to attempt a sewing How To for next week, should have some "free" time on Sunday. :)

crystal said...

No fair! You keep posting How To Tuesday on MONDAY.

You'd better re-name it "Must Do Monday."

Can't wait to make this! yummmm.

And where'd you get that cute white ruffle shirt? I'm a sucker for ruffles; it's my love language.

crystal said...

Your brother is FREAKING HILARIOUS!!!

Jessica at Kids Napping? I'm Scrapping! said...

Yuuuum. So, when I stay in the guest room (I'll forward my favorite magazine subscriptions to you), will you make this, too? Gah, it looks so good.

Rochelleht said...

The key question is do you serve it over mashed potatoes? We serve ours over mashed potatoes. It is heaven. Truly. You'll never go back.

Karey said...

This looks so good. I remember making these home-made noodles with my mom. Delicious. And you're cooking in a ruffled, white blouse. Entirely too perfect. It all looks too perfect!

Lala said...

Can't wait to try this out - it looks marvalous!

Suzanne said...

Aaaah...you make me wish I loved to cook! =) Yum. But seriously, I didn't think making noodles could be that easy. That's awesome.

Kristyn said...

You make this look so easy!! I've always wanted to try making this from scratch. This is a definite must try that has just been added to my list!

Donna said...

I have a friend who makes her own chicken noodle soup, too. She's shared it with me and I've seriously wondered if I dare try to do what it takes, but this looks very doable - and yummy! Thanks for sharing!!

Travelin'Oma said...

Fabulous how-to. (This week I don't know how to do anything.)

(My word verification is "blessid." I am, to have you.)

jen@odbt said...

Yum. Definitely looks easy...at least you make it look easy, even the homemade noodles. I've always wanted to make a homemade chicken noodle soup and a spaghetti sauce. Maybe you can add that to next week's how to?

Julie From Inmates said...

It looks divine, but looks a lot more work than I could pull off. I am wanting an iPad though, so maybe worth the effort. =)

Lizzy said...

Monumental soup! I am a long-time advocate of chicken soup--this is a MUST if you are feeling under the weather; it's LOADED with nutrients your body uses to heal...thank you so much for sharing. PS Chicken Soup can also heal your soul!

Cares and Mimi said...

I love making homemade soup but I have never made my own noodles. I feel I've cheated myself out of the goodness. No more! I shall make homemade noodles - today! Thanks for the lovely recipe! YUM! - Carrie (Cares)

Thelma said...

This soup looks wonderful. I feel sheepish about my chicken bouillon cubes now.

Annie ~ Basic Joy said...

That looks amazing. No wonder you have Josh so captivated (well that and...lots of other things).
I'm playing along this week and already planning for next! Thanks C.

Annie ~ Basic Joy said...

p.s. Sorry! I changed my post title and messed up the first linky. #12 works. #11 doesn't. I'm lame.

melissa ( : said...

salivating now.

Lauren in GA said...

Dear Dan,
Stop that!

Sincerely,
Lauren in GA


Don't worry, Stie.I know he won't link back again. I am sure I struck the proper amount of fear in his heart. I used harsh words.

This Looks SO YUMMY!! Thank you for the play by play, "How-To". I loved it. I love having recipes that make my husband powerless to resist me.

I love your humor and your writing. You are awesome, my dear.

I think I got the code on my blog correctly so that the button links back here. Thanks for explaining that I needed to copy the html code under the blue button.

Tristan said...

OMG YUM!

Jamie said...

Good thing you posted yesterday, I was going to do Chicken Noodle Soup, but it's the cheater's version. I'll have to do it another time. I always thought homemade noodles would be too hard, you make it sound simple. I'll have to try your version. Yum! Yum!

Kelly said...

Yum, I'm leaving for the grocery store now to get me a chicken. I've never made my own noodles, I never would have guessed they were so easy. And Rochelle's over mashed potatoes might kill me with happiness.

In lieu of the freezing method, I line my strainer with a paper towel and pour the hot broth through that, soaks up the fat.

nurse graham said...

Yay! I can make a comment tonight. The soup looks delicious. I so miss eating homemade noodles since having to go gluten-free, but if I could eat them, I would want to eat them in that yummy looking soup.

Annemarie said...

This looks and sounds absolutely delicious...can't wait to try it!! I need to jump on the how-to wagon.

♥Maren said...

BEST. SOUP. EVER.

I love step-by-steps. Well done.

Linsey said...

This makes homemade noodles look completely possible. I am going to make this, maybe this weekend, just as soon as I finish the paper that is KILLING me right now. Grad school with toddlers, what an idiot I am!

Love How-To Tuesdays. Just love them...almost as much as I love you.