If you can’t tell, I am super excited that it’s soup season. Time to drag out all the recipes I’ve hidden away since spring – pumpkin chili, tomato tortellini soup, gumbo. Hungry yet? Homemade chicken noodle has been on my mind a lot lately, and while I know there is no rule against making chicken noodle in the summer, my heart wasn’t in it back in August.
This recipe originally came from a Paula Deen cookbook my mother bought back when Paula was still just a restaurant owner back in Savannah. Every year it seems I make another tweak or two. For instance, the original recipe calls for you to boil a quartered boiler/fryer until the meat is cooked. I have found that using a shredded roast chicken adds a whole new depth of flavor.
If your local grocery store or deli carries decent rotisserie chicken, this can be used. However, the rotisserie chickens at my grocery store are pathetic. One, they are small. They look more like Cornish hens! Two, they are expensive. Three, I don’t know where they get their definition of “hot and fresh,” but 3 hours under a heat lamp in my book does not constitute fresh. The birds are tasteless and resemble shredded wood. Honestly, roasting your own chicken is not that big a deal. I lined a baking pan with foil, coated the skin of the chicken with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper and baked it at 375 degrees for an hour and a half. Let it cool for at least 45 minutes before pulling the meat off the bone. But whatever you do, don’t throw away the carcass!! This pile of bone and skin – that may look like a pile of garbage to you – is what you will use later to flavor your soup.
Otis the kitchen dog smelled something yummy cooling on the stove. He is smart enough to know that his Mom is a messy cook and that if he hung around long enough inevitably his patience would be rewarded. Sure enough, as I was removing the chicken meat from the bone I sloshed drippings down the oven door and onto the floor. Otis voraciously lapped this up before I could come back with a mop.
Don’t let the amount of pre-prep work scare you off. If you don’t have enough time in one day to make this soup, make it in stages. I roasted my chicken in the morning, let it cool, came back and shredded it in the afternoon. Then I stored my shredded chicken and stock in the refrigerator until the next night when I had time to throw it all together.
I mentioned I purchased a five pound bird. This is more than enough meat for this soup. I actually divided my shredded meat in half and saved part of it for another meal I had planned later in the week.
Chicken Noodle Soup
- 1 (2-3 lb.) whole roasting chicken
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt
- 3 ½ quarts water
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 3 cloves garlic, halved
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 cups sliced celery
- 2 ½ cups uncooked egg noodles or other pasta
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried parsley
- ⅓ cup cooking sherry
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Remove giblets from inside chicken. Rinse chicken and pat dry. Brush outside of chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish or roasting pan and cook until an instant read thermometer reads 175 degrees – about an hour and a half. Remove chicken from oven and allow to cool. Once chicken has cooled, remove meat from the bones. Do not discard the bones!
- Place bones in a large stock pot and add water, onion, Italian seasoning, garlic cloves, and bay leaves. Bring water to a boil then allow to simmer for 45 minutes.
- Strain stock and discard onion, bay leaves, and garlic cloves. Return stock to a boil.
- Add carrots and cook for 3 minutes.
- Add celery and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
- Add chicken, parsley, sherry and sea salt. Cook for an additional 2 minutes until chicken is heated through.