This hearty chicken noodle soup is great anytime of year, but especially during cold and flu season and the cold winter months. Chock full of hearty vegetables and homemade egg noodles, this soup is sure to make anyone that is feeling under the weather feel much better. You can use store-bought egg noodles for this soup, but I highly recommend you try your hand at making some homemade egg noodles. The noodles soak up some of the broth and taste incredible. This hearty full-flavored chicken noodle soup can be on your dinner table in under 90 minutes. Instead of simmering chicken bones, vegetables, and herbs for hours, the chicken is cut into small pieces and sautéed before being added to the vegetables. Cutting the chicken into small parts is the only hard step in this hearty chicken soup recipe. Use a meat cleaver, a heavy-duty chef’s knife, or a pair of heavy-duty kitchen shears to cut the chicken.
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Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 whole chicken (about 4 pounds), breast removed and split, remaining chicken cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 medium onions, cut into medium dice
- 2 quarts boiling water
- Table salt
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 medium rib celery, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- Egg Noodles
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- Ground black pepper
- Heat oil in large Dutch Oven over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers and starts to smoke, add chicken breast halves; sauté until brown on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Add half of chopped onions to the pot; sauté until colored and softened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to medium bowl; set aside. Add half of chicken pieces to the pot and sauté until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with onions. Sauté remaining chicken pieces. Return onions and chicken pieces (excluding breasts) to the pot. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer until chicken releases its juices, about 20 minutes.
- Increase heat to high; add boiling water along with both breast halves, 2 teaspoons salt, and bay leaves. Return to simmer, then cover and barely simmer until chicken breasts are cooked and broth is rich and flavorful, about 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken breasts from pot; set aside. When cool enough to handle, remove skin from breasts, then remove meat from bones and shred into bite-size pieces; discard skin and bone. Strain broth; discard bones. Skim fat from broth, reserving 2 tablespoons. (Broth and meat can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 days.)
- Return Dutch oven to medium-high heat. Add reserved chicken fat. Add remaining onions, along with carrot, celery, and garlic; sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, along with broth and chicken; simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors meld, 10 to 15 minutes. Add noodles and cook until al dente. Adjust seasonings, stir in parsley, and serve.
Yields: about 3 quarts, serving 6 to 8
Ready in: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated