Just about everybody has a Chicken Noodle Soup recipe in their arsenal. It’s the classic American cure-all. No matter if it’s your grandma’s recipe or if it comes out of a can, it’s guaranteed to comfort and bring you back to life a little bit.
I had a little cold this weekend. It wasn’t bad enough to warrant going to the doctor or calling in sick, but it did mean I needed Chicken Noodle Soup. I dragged myself out of bed and into some yoga pants and a sweatshirt, and less than two hours later, I was tucking into a big bowl of homemade soup and binge-watching The Mindy Project. I’m not going to say that this soup cured me, but I will say that I woke up the next day feeling much more like myself.
My Chicken Noodle Soup starts with bone-in skin-on chicken. The soup pictured was made with chicken thighs, but white meat works too, if that’s what you like. The chicken is simmered in store-bought stock until cooked through, about 40 minutes. Then, the chicken is removed to cool and carrots, celery, onion, garlic, and herbs go into the pot to simmer for 30 minutes. A little dijon mustard is added for depth, but you can skip it if it’s not your thing.
While the vegetables are cooking, the chicken should cool enough for you to handle it. Discard the skin and tear the meat into bite-sizes pieces. Put the chicken and any large bones back in the pot to simmer for another half hour. Then remove the bones and stir in some peas, parsley, and black pepper. Let that cook for five more minutes before ladling it over egg noodles and digging in to a warm, filling, nutritious meal.
This soup is delicious, y’all. The broth is rich from the combination of bone-in chicken and store-bought stock, and the chicken and vegetables are full of protein and nutrients. Where the noodles in many recipes become overly soft from being submerged in the stock for an extended period, the noodles in my recipe are cooked separately and stay al dente. This also means that the soup will keep well for days. The flavors meld over time; it’s even better on day three than it is on day one!
Chicken Noodle Soup
makes 6-8 servings
2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken pieces (white, dark, or both)
8 cups low-sodium chicken stock (I like Better than Bouillon)
2 cups carrots, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
2 cups celery, washed and cut into bite-sized chunks
1 large white onion, diced (about 2 cups total)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon prepared Dijon mustard
2 cups frozen sweet peas (optional)
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt, optional
1 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
12 ounces egg noodles, prepared according to package directions
Combine chicken pieces and stock in a large soup pot over high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow pot to simmer 35-40 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken pieces to a plate to cool.
Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, and mustard to the stock. Cover pot again and allow to simmer 30 minutes.
Let chicken cool until you can handle it. Discard skin and reserve any larger bones. Tear chicken into bite-sizes pieces. Add chicken and bones back to the pot and simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
Remove chicken bones from soup. Stir in peas, parsley, salt, and pepper. Cook an additional 5 minutes before removing soup from heat.
To serve, place 1/2-1 cup of noodles in the bottom of each bowl. Ladle in the warm soup. Enjoy!
Soup and noodles will keep in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to five days.