** I originally wrote this post about how to make my homemade chicken soup four years ago when I had just started to blog. I thought it would be timely to repost it now – despite the bad photos. I have my own pot of soup simmering on the stove today. It’s not only a comforting food, but I think a healing one as well. It can really stretch the number of meals you get from one chicken as you don’t have to put all the chicken meat in the soup after it cooks. After the broth cools, you can take the chicken out and dice it and put it in a bowl or bag in the fridge. Strain the cooled broth, discarding the bouquet Garni and the few veggies that boiled in the broth as you were making it. You can stick the strained broth in a pot in the fridge overnight. In the morning, lift off the hardened fat which will be in a layer at the top. This can actually be saved if you want to use it as a cooking oil – place it in a bag in the freezer and when you have enough (the fat from two chickens) stick it in the crockpot with the lid ajar for a few hours to remove the extra moisture it picked up in the broth. Then pour it into a mason jar to keep in the fridge ( I have read that it keeps for a week in the fridge) – otherwise, you can just discard it. Now you can either freeze your bone broth or make the soup. Today I also saved the gizzards – which I have never done before. I put them uncooked in a bag in the freezer and may attempt adding them to a sauce at a later time. **
It was a rainy day here yesterday and one of my little ones was home sick with pneumonia, so it just seemed like a homemade chicken noodle soup kind of day.
I hope you don’t mind me stepping away from the home decor and furniture makeovers for a moment and sharing with you one of my favorite recipes.
Whole raw chicken
about 6 celery stalks (I like the inner stalks with the leaves for the beginning broth, dice the other three)
about 6 – 8 peeled carrots (peeled and diced)
1 whole peeled onion
3/4 cup dry noodles (orzo, alphabet, egg noodles or small shells – it’s really your preference)
cup of frozen peas
10 whole peppercorns
2 tsp. salt
Seasonings for Bouquet Garni: 1 bay leaf
2 peeled garlic cloves
about 10 whole peppercorns
dried parsley, italian seasoning or fresh oregano and thyme
one coffee or tea filter
First place the chicken in a large stock pot and fill with water until the chicken is covered. Then add one peeled carrot, center celery stalks with leaves still on (these are usually smaller and I add about 3), a peeled whole onion and about ten whole peppercorns and 2 tsp. of salt to the pot and place on the stove on high heat.
This is when I make and add a bouquet garni which is a small pouch of herbs that add flavor to the soup. I made a short video explaining how I do this.
Let the pot come to a boil and then reduce heat to continue simmering.
I remove the chicken and cut it into small pieces, removing all bones and skin.
I strain the rest of the broth through a fine mesh strainer into another stock pot, removing all vegetables and bouquet garni and discarding them.
I then add to this broth – the peeled and diced carrots, diced celery, peas, noodles, diced chicken and additional salt to taste.
Let this come to a boil and simmer for about an additional 1/2 hour. Then serve with some crusty bread and enjoy. This recipe makes enough for my family of five and we have enough for another meal as well!