Thursday, June 26, 2008

Easy (rotisserie) chicken noodle soup recipe

Rotisserie chicken noodle soup

Grocery store rotisserie chickens are a pretty good deal, considering that you can get a lot of use even from their scraps. Here's a simple recipe, culled from several sources, for when that chicken in your fridge is on its last legs. Overall time if I figured it all correctly: 50-55 minutes.

Once in a while I love a cool and challenging recipe, but I'm no gourmet - more like a lazy (and cheap) gourmand. This chicken noodle soup is so easy I daresay any yahoo can make it and come off looking like a fancy-pants. To date it's the only kind I've attempted from scratch, or mostly from. What's great about this method is that it cuts out the hours-long process of making a proper stock, but it tastes like you spent all day and is more satisfying than I can describe. I've made it quite a few times now and I'm proud to say my two-year-old absolutely loves it (and loves to get it all over her). If you like, you can add to it whatever half-empty bag of veggies happens to be sitting lonely in the freezer. It's about leftovers and is really versatile, you get the idea....

Note: This soup isn't exactly diet-friendly as it leaves in all the yummy goodness (=fat). To take half the day letting it cool so you can skim off the fat would defeat the purpose of this "fast" recipe.


1 leftover store-bought rotisserie chicken
½ bag (6 oz.) extra wide egg noodles
2 quarts chicken broth (boxed/canned or from bouillon) + 1 quart water
2 big onions, diced
2 big carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds or half-rounds
2 big celery stalks, sliced
4 or more garlic cloves
2 tsp. fresh or dried thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 T. vegetable oil
salt and pepper
In a large stockpot, bring water and broth to a simmer over medium-high heat.

2 quarts is a lot of broth (for us) to have on hand, so I keep a jar of bouillon, e.g. Herb-Ox, or some other chicken soup base for making this recipe. If going that route, then per their directions (1 tsp. bouillon for every 1 cup water) that's 8 tsp. bouillon to make the 8 cups (2 quarts) of broth, or 2 T. + 2 tsp. bouillon. Which is just shy of 3 T., to keep things simple. Bring all of the water (3 quarts total) to a boil before adding the bouillon.

While the water is going, separate the remaining white meat from the chicken bones and skin and reserve this meat in the fridge.

To the simmering broth add the chicken bones with skin, pope's nose (or parson's/sultan's nose) and whatnot - the more chickeny stuff the yummier the soup. Drop in the bay leaf, and a couple or three or more cloves of garlic, lightly smashed (I like to throw a lot of garlic in as this is a good place to use up some of the little puny cloves that tend to accumulate). Add also 1 tsp. of the dried thyme and/or other compatible herb(s), or a couple fresh sprigs if you grow it and have some to spare. Go ahead, add whatever you think would make things yummy. Reduce heat to low/medium-low, partially cover and let simmer about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, chop up the onions, carrots, and celery; mince the remaining garlic, maybe 2 cloves. (It helps me to remember the number "2" for things in this recipe: quarts of broth, onions, carrots, etc.) Set all this aside, but here if you have any usable onion scraps, or those little center stalks of celery and especially the celery leaves, make sure to add those to the pot.

When the broth has cooked and become extremely yummy-smelling, pick out the larger bones and scraps, then carefully strain it through a colander into a large container or second pot (I line the colander with paper towels to help filter). Set this broth aside. Return main pot to the burner with heat raised to medium/medium-high.

Add oil, then the onions, carrots, and celery. Season well with salt and/or pepper. Stirring often to avoid browning, sauté until it just begins to soften, about 7-8 minutes; with a couple of minutes left add the minced garlic. Don't cook longer than this or the onions will become too sweet (you want only a hint of sweet).

Return broth back to the pot and bring back up to a boil. Add the egg noodles and boil according to the directions on the package, usually about 8 minutes. (If adding other vegetables I would probably do so at this point.)

Turn off heat, stir in the reserved chicken meat and remaining thyme leaves, and let it all hang out and become yummy together until it's time to eat.

Serves 8.


tinaj said...

I just made this last night and finished it up for lunch today and it was EXCELLENT!! Sooooo easy and tasty! We had eaten all of the white meat off of the chicken beforehand, so I just popped a couple boneless skinless chicken breasts diced up in when I cooked the noodles. I love that you can use up random pieces of onion (I used 3 diff. colors), small garlic cloves, etc.

My 2 year old ate all the carrots and celery (need to double next time)and broth, my 4 year old ate noodles and chicken, and I can't wait to see what my super picky 7 year old says when she gets home from school!

Thanks for the great easy recipe!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for a great, easy to follow, delicious recipe for a "non-cook" like me! I'm never made chicken noodle soup before. I searched online for a recipe that made sense and yours was the best. Soon to be a grandmother, I needed this & look forward to more of your recipes.
Many thanks!

Anonymous said...

I made this tonight and it was delicious and pretty easy to make! Added mushrooms and some extra noodles and my husband and 2 year old daughter both had seconds. Will definetly make this again. Thank you!

Hilary said...

I found your recipe almost 5 years ago when my oldest son wasn't quite a year old. This was the first chicken noodle soup he ever tried, and the same for his younger brother 2 years later. This has become our family's go-to recipe for chicken noodle soup and we love it - every single time. Just wanted to say thank you for sharing such a great recipe!