Chicken Noodle Soup- the lazy way
Recently, I had numerous people write to me and ask how I make my chicken noodle soup. Until now, I've never actually written it down. I don't usually follow a "recipe" but I follow the same lazy method every time. Most of the time I make my broth in the crockpot, and I'm usually making it because someone (usually Marshall) is sick. It's so easy to throw everything in the pot, turn it on low and go about your day. Or you can do like me and go check your kid out of school, bring them to the doctor for over an hour, go to the pharmacy for at least 30 minutes, grab a bottle of wine before checking out because of the day you've had and then you get home to an amazing smelling house and 90% of your work already done for you.
I always buy whole chickens when they're on sale and freeze them, so do that if you can. All of the other ingredients I always already have in my fridge. I'm sure if you're super rushed you could make this using a rotisserie bird, but for me, this is what I'm throwing together before I run out of the door on sick days.
Throw your whole chicken in the pot and include the neck!! I know what the neck looks like, believe me, I get it, but the flavor it gives to the broth is great. Don't look at it too long and just throw it in. Peel an onion, cut it in half and throw that in along with 3 celery stalks, 4 cloves of garlic, half a lemon, about 2 cups of baby peeled carrots, a handful of fresh thyme (I grow this in our garden, I promise fresh is so much better than dried!!), about 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, a heaping tablespoon kosher salt, a bay leaf, and the stems from a large bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley (never buy that curly garbage either). Fill the whole thing with water and let it go until the chicken is tender and shreds easily. I never time this because it all depends on how big your bird is, if you set it to low or high and how big of a hurry you are in.
Once you are ready, it will look like this. Remove the chicken to a large baking sheet, let it cool a little and then pick the meat from the bones. Dump the rest into a large strainer and reserve the carrots and celery. Chop the celery and carrots and put them back in the strained broth along with the chicken you shredded. Chop up some of the parsley that you used the stems from earlier and add it to the pot. Taste the stock to see if it needs more salt and add it now if you need to. In a separate pot, boil some noodles (I usually do about 1 1/2 cups) and add them to the pot just before serving.
I hope this helps!! What's the first thing you make when someone is sick? I'd love to hear about it!