Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Now that I have a fresh batch of stock, chicken soup is calling me.  I know we are starting to see glimpses of spring and depending on which part of the country you hail from this recipe may even be a tad late (chilly weather, colds, flu -- we have already seen them all) but I couldn't resist. Trader Joe's sells a mirepoix mixture which saves on prep time if that is a concern.   There is something soothing about having a pot of soup simmering and emanating a delicious aroma throughout your home.  I just love it when my husband walks in and says "mmm, something smells good."



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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

For the Soup:
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts or approximately 4 cups of cooked chicken cubed or torn in small chunks (your preference)
1 tablespoon of canola oil
3 1/2 cups of mirepoix (one Trader Joe's container) which consists of equal amounts of chopped onion, celery and carrots
4 cups of chicken broth, divided (I use Trader Joe's organic free range -- a good pantry staple)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon of white pepper
1/2 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1 clove of garlic, pressed
1 scant tablespoon of dried parsley (if using fresh, wait until serving)

For the Noodles:
1 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of half and half (or milk)

1) If starting with uncooked chicken breasts -- I like to cut the chicken into bite size pieces while they are partially frozen (as opposed to cooking the chicken and then cutting it up -- which has a tendency to get shredded and stringy) and poaching the chicken in 2 cups of chicken broth.  When chicken is no longer pink drain the broth and reserve for another use, or strain it with cheese cloth and use in the upcoming step.

2) Heat canola oil in a large soup pot, add the mirepoix and pressed garlic, and saute for 3 to 4 minutes stirring often.

3) Add poached or leftover chicken, 2 cups of broth, 2 quarts of homemade chicken stock, and heat over a medium heat for 5 minutes.

4)  Add all of the remaining spices, stir, and turn down to a low simmering heat.

5)  While soup is simmering make the noodles by making a well with the flour, add the egg and salt to the well.  Mix the ingredients to make a dough.  As the dough is starting to come together add the half and half one tablespoon at a time.  The dough should feel like it barely comes together and may even feel a little tough.  That will be fine because the broth will get absorbed into the noodles and they will be great.  Kneed a few times and form a ball and let it rest a minute.  Scrape the counter with a dough scraper at this point making sure the surface is fresh and lightly floured.






6)  Roll out dough as thin as possible without tearing.  The shape doesn't really matter but if you can roll it into a rectangle that would be best.  During the process of rolling it out, pick the dough up and flip it over a couple of times to make sure it is not sticking.  Keep your surface lightly floured as you go.


7)  When you have the dough rolled out as thin as possible let the dough dry for 3o minutes.  Flip it over and dry the other side for 30 minutes.  Then using a pizza slicer slice into 1/8" - to 1/4" strips, then cut the strips in to two inch pieces.



















8)  Add the noodles to the broth in such a way as to keep them from sticking together (try using a spatula to lift the noodles off the counter and sprinkle them into the soup, if necessary.)

9) Simmer the soup for another 15 minutes or until the noodles are completely cooked.

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