Saturday, May 1, 2010

On Chicken Noodle Soup


VICTORY! I had a grand culinary victory night before last. Though all facets of the attack were not perfect, the end result was a feeding frenzy with dibs-calling on leftovers.

Boo. Yah.


I walked in the door, set the oven, threw the chicken in the microwave to continue defrosting, played with the dogs and unloaded from work for 10 minutes, then started DINNER. Put bread in oven for 45 minutes. Cut 3 half-chicken breasts into small, sloppy rustic pieces, browned in batches over high heat so that chicken is not totally cooked when pulled from pot. When all chicken is in the pot, start chopping veggies. Pull out last of chicken, dump in onion. Chop celery, dump in pot. (Stir, stir, stir). Slice carrots, pot. A few cups of chicken stock, red pepper flake, fresh ground pepper. Set to simmer. Add pasta. Cook till noodles are soft. A bit of cornstarch if needed to thicken, butter on the table with the hot bread and voila.


Chicken Noodle Soup
(Click here for printable recipe.)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces against grain (think Chinese-cleaver cut)

1/4 onion, diced

3 celery stalks, chopped

3 carrots, peeled and cut on the bias into slices

1 garlic clove, diced or pressed

5-6 cups of low-salt chicken broth

pinch of red pepper flakes

salt and pepper

Bow-tie pasta, home-made pasta noodles, or egg noodles (whatever you’ve got)

lemon juice (optional)

1. Fry the chicken pieces in batches in a little olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. You’re looking for a good browned sear on one side but still on the almost raw-side of cooking. Remove from pan and set aside.

2. Add more oil if needed to cook onions, scraping with a wooden spoon to get up all the browned bits.

3. When onions are translucent and beginning to darken on the edges, add celery, cook for a few minutes, add carrots, a few more minutes, then garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic is fragrant, about 10 seconds.

4. Add broth carefully, then chicken. Bring broth to a boil and add pasta. Cook until noodles are soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a splash of lemon juice.

Remember when you re-heat chicken stock/chicken soup leftovers to always bring it to a boil first!

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