Souper Week 2012: Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Guess what?! Tomorrow is Friday! We’re only a day away! To pass the time, be sure to check out our other delicious soups this week: Monday’s French Onion, Tuesday’s Beer Cheese, and yesterday’s Clam Chowder. And be sure to comment on Tuesday’s post! A comment there is an entry into our giveaway of four French Onion Soup crocks. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for more chances to enter!

If you were to ask most people living in the US today what food they associate with being ill (especially as children), I’d wager the farm (if I had one) that most would say chicken noodle soup. It’s the ultimate comfort food. I still remember the smell of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle heating up on the stove on the rare days that I stayed home sick in elementary school.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never really been a fan of chicken noodle soup – I associate it with being ill. Or it could be because I’m not a fan of any canned soup. They’re packed with preservatives and sodium and, generally speaking, are usually pretty bland compared to homemade versions.

Instead, I like to plan ahead. In the fall (when the crummy flu season kicks in), I like to make a big batch of this soup and freeze it. Then, when either Kev or I are feeling down, we can just pop a serving in the microwave and have instant homemade soup.

Oven Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

prep: 10 mins
cook: 1.5 hours (0.5 hrs if you use a rotisserie chicken from the grocery)

Ingredients

1 whole chicken
2 carrots, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
1 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock (go for homemade)
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp thyme, minced
2 bay leaves
1 bag whole wheat egg noodles
salt & pepper

Prep:

1. Preheat your oven to 450 F.

2. Rinse and clean your chicken, being sure to check for any un-removed feathers or quills and any bits left inside the cavity. Dry it as thoroughly as possible with a paper towel and place an onion on its neck while reciting some of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Okay, you don’t have to do that last part. That’s just me. I was home alone and getting into the Halloweeny spirit.

3. Place the headless chickenman into a baking dish, tucking the wings and legs as close to the body as possible. If I were going to serve this guy for dinner rather than pick him apart for soup, I’d probably truss him up (I should do a tutorial on trussing), but things as they are, I didn’t bother. Salt and pepper him inside and out and pop him in the oven for about an hour (this will vary depending on the size of your bird – this guy was about 3.5 lbs and took an hour ten). While he’s cooking, do something productive, like catching up on some HGTV and/or having a glass or two of wine.

NOTE: If you don’t want to mess with roasting the chicken yourself (or if the thought of the headless chickenman scares your pants off), you could always buy a roaster chicken at your local grocery. I priced it out and it was about $5 cheaper to bake your own chicken, but if you’re pressed for time (or feeling under the weather) go for the roaster.

4. When your chicken reaches 165 degrees in the middle of the breast, take him out and let him cool. Of course, you won’t be needing all that crispy, golden brown skin. If it were to disappear, I wouldn’t tell anyone. When he’s cool enough to handle, pick the meat using two forks. Give it a rough chop and set aside.

5. Combine the butter and olive oil in a stock pot. Once shimmery, add in the mirepoix (carrots, onion, and celery). When the carrots begin to soften, add in the garlic and the chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring often.

6. Add the chicken stock. You can use store-bought stock, but be sure it’s low sodium. I prefer to use homemade stock (I’ll try to share my recipe later today). It’s really easy to make, tastes 100 times better, and doesn’t have the excess sodium and preservatives of the canned stuff.

7. Add in the bay leaf,  thyme, salt and pepper, then bring everything to a rolling boil. Once the soup reaches a boil, add in the noodles. Cook until softened.

8. Serve immediately (or freeze for those sick days).

 

What’s your go-to comfort food when you’re under the weather? Do you crave chicken noodle soup? Do you dress up your dinner with root vegetables and recite short stories about them?

Be sure to enter our giveaway!! Today’s the last chance! We’ll be picking our winner tomorrow.

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