Mrs. Jackson Cooks

Life through food

The ultimate in comfort: chicken noodle soup

on February 15, 2011

I love chicken noodle soup, adore it. But I rarely make it because it seems like a ‘waste’ of chicken so I only make it when I’ve done a whole roast chicken and have leftovers. Happily, I had roasted a chicken, so I made chicken noodle soup – with proper stock as well – look at me! Now I’m not opposed to stock cubes, in fact, I use them regularly, but if you’ve got a whole chicken you may as well make stock from the bones. Seems like a waste otherwise, really. And I know chickens aren’t the brightest but it lived for me to eat it, so its really only fair to make the most out of it.

Making the stock is the bit that takes the longest amount of time. Making the soup itself is very quick as there’s no real cooking of anything or blending. So another easy, gadget free, friendly recipe (not for the vegetarians though). And if you don’t want to make your own stock or can’t be bothered (or haven’t got any chicken bones) then by all means use some stock cubes or some fresh ready made stock.

But, chicken noodle soup is just great, especially at this time of year when we’re all feeling sorry for ourselves and sniffling into tissues. This recipe is full of chilli, ginger and garlic – full of germ fighting anti-oxidants and metabolism boosting to burn off calories quicker, if you’re still trying to loose weight. Me personally, I’ve abandoned that. Life’s too short for diets. But if like me, you’ve gone from dieting to drinking then this is good for boosting immune systems and reducing the effects of hangovers.

It’s also great for lunchbox lunches at work – just take some bread with you (or not, there’s noodles in it already so it’s not really needed). And when you’re busy at work, and it’s cold and miserable outside, this is the perfect pick me up.

Chicken stock

Makes about 800ml

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot finely chopped

2 celery sticks finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

chicken bones with any meat scraps on them (without skin – skin makes the stock very fatty). Remove any leftover meat that’s easily removeable first, for the soup.

2 bay leaves

10 whole peppercorns

salt

1.2-1.4 litres water

  1. Put the vegetables and garlic in a large saucepan with the bones. Cover with enough water to cover the bones and bring to the boil.
  2. When it’s boiling add the bay leaves, peppercorns and salt. Stir well, reduce to a simmer and cover.
  3. Simmer on a low heat for about 1-1.5 hours, topping up with water to ensure the bones are fully covered.
  4. After this amount of time, seive the contents of the saucepan, reserving the juice. Return the juice to the pan and simmer again with the lid off to reduce the quantity by about half – this really intensifies the flavour of the stock.
  5. With the bones and veges – these can be discarded, once you’ve extracted out all the meat. This should be relatively simple to do as most of it will have fallen off the bones and any still on the bone will come off easily. I find using a pair of kitchen tweezers/pincers is the easiest way to do this.
  6. Add the chicken you get off the bones to the leftover meat you removed before – this will all go in the soup.
  7. When the stock is ready, remove from the heat and set aside until needed. It can been kept in the fridge for about a week or it can be frozen.

Chicken noodle soup

Serves 4 (ish)

1 tbsp sesame or other oil

1 onion, finely chopped (or use spring onions instead)

1 red chilli, finely chopped (de seed if you don’t want too spicy)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

a knob of fresh ginger, peeled & grated

veges – mange tout, bok choi, sugar snap peas, carrots (julienned) etc – whatever takes your fancy

roasted chicken pieces (de boned and skinned)

800ml – 1l chicken stock

70g chinese egg noodles, cooked according to instructions and cut into pieces (scissors is easiest)

1/2 tin sweetcorn

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tbsp nam pla or fish sauce (or add extra soy if you don’t have this)

1 tsp sugar

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil. When it’s hot add the onion and fry until golden brown. Then add the garlic and chilli and fry for a further minute.
  2. Next add in any fresh vege and the ginger and fry for a further minute or two until softened.
  3. Chuck in the cooked chicken and stir well to mix.
  4. Then add in the stock (adding extra water if necessary)
  5. Add in the noodles and the sweetcorn
  6. Finally stir in the soy sauce, nam pla and sugar. Stirring well to mix. Taste and adjust as necessary.
  7. Pour into large soup bowls and serve with chinese spoons and prawn crackers.
  8. Perfection 😉
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