Two exciting things happened in my life last week: I received my Flu vaccination and The Downton Abbey Movie was released. I know- pretty thrilling. But in all seriousness, The Dowager Empress once remarked, “Every good maid needs to know how to make a restorative broth.”
Now, granted, I do not have a ladies maid, although, (I could most certainly use one), but, Dame Maggie Smith was never more correct: Every good home cook should have a go to chicken noodle soup you can make by memory and from the heart for those times when your loved ones are down with an illness, a new mother has baby, or someone is lonely. What can’t soup and a cup of tea do? It fills the tummy and restores the soul at the same time. So pull out your kettle, steep and cup of tea and learn how to make a bowl of soup worthy of a Countess. Cold and flu season is nearly upon us so get that chicken stock in the freezer.
Chicken Noodle Soup-The Stock
1 chicken carcass- backs, necks and wings make the best broth
1 Yellow onion, peeled and quartered
4 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
1 garlic bulb, sliced in half
6 whole peppercorns
4 celery ribs with leaves, cut in half
8-10 springs fresh thyme
8-10 springs Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
1 gallon spring water or filtered water
- In a 12 quart stock pot add chicken pieces, vegetables, herbs and peppercorns. Cover with water so that there is at least 2-3 inches of water above the ingredients
- Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down and simmer on low, uncovered.
- Every 10-15 minutes skim away with a spoon the foam or solids that appear on the top of the stock. Keep stock at a simmer for 4-6 hours, uncovered adding water to keep veggies and chicken submerged.
- After 4-6 hours, remove pot from stove. Fill your sink with an ice bath. Place another large pot in the ice bath. Strain all the solids from stock mixture with a fine sieve into the new pot to chill quickly. Discard solids and meat.
Once stock has cooled (about 30 minutes) pour into jars to keep in fridge. After 24 hours, remove any fat solids from top of broth. You can then keep stock in the fridge for 2-4 days or pour into freezer bags, then lay bags flat on a rimmed baking sheet and freeze until solid. You can store stock in freezer bags up to 3 months.
Chicken noodle soup aka The dowager's RESTORATIVE borth
2 quarts chicken stock
2 chicken breasts, skin on bone in
2 large carrots, sliced into rounds
2 ribs celery, sliced, with leaves
1 TBSP kosher salt
1 TBSP rosemary chopped
1 whole garlic clove, peeled
3 TBSP Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp of fresh pepper- or to taste
2 cups egg noodles
Method- Serves 6
- Pre heat oven to 350.
Rub chicken breasts with olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until done. Remove chicken from oven to cool. Once cooled, remove skin and bones, and chop into bite size chunks. Set aside .
- Bring to a slow boil the chicken stock, slowly add in vegetables, chicken, one whole garlic clove and parsley. Add salt to taste 1 tsp at a time. Add in noodles and cook until noodles are done. Simmer for 10 minutes more. Remove garlic clove. Check for seasonings and add more salt and pepper , if desired.
- Note- I often cook noodles separately and add in last. The noodles will soak up the broth overnight so only cook as many noodles as you need each day.
This soup is so simple once you have the stock prepared. In Montana, I love serving soup in heavy crockery chili bowls from Whitefish Pottery. They have a great shop on Central Avenue in downtown Whitefish. Be certain to pop by if you are visiting.