Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch
Chicken noodle soup for the soul with ample free time.
Psst! Some shortcuts just for you...
December 08, 2020
Cook: 2h 30min
You don’t have to be under the weather for chicken noodle soup. Simmer a chicken to make homemade broth, roll out dough for fresh, hand-cut egg noodles, and bring it all together with vegetables and herbs to produce a hot bowl of soup for a wintry afternoon.
There is an episode of the ‘90s cartoon series Arthur where Arthur gets sent to the school nurse because he starts hallucinating about a blue elephant in art class. Whoa. He finds out he has chicken pox and spends the next few days at home. Grandma and his parents give him the royal treatment with chicken soup, an oatmeal bath, juice with a crazy straw, and breakfast crepes with sparklers stuck in the top. D.W., Arthur’s sister, declares her jealous feelings toward her brother’s royal treatment by shouting, “When do I get to drink with the crazy straw?”
Growing up, chicken noodle soup was a meal for the sick kid, as was the case in Arthur. In an effort to reframe my thinking, I’ve come up with this eat-it-when-you-are-sick-or-eat-it-when-you-are-well chicken noodle soup recipe.
The idea to create this recipe came earlier this year when I was reading a book about recipe development. The author suggested that one of the best exercises for becoming a better recipe developer is to take a classic dish, like chicken noodle soup, and to make your own recipe for it. Months went by and the author’s suggestion lingered in my memory. One day during a recipe brainstorming session I decided to accept her challenge and started plans for the dish you are about to prepare.
Just a heads up - this is a somewhat time intensive and hands-on recipe. Find a day this winter when you have several hours of free time, put some tunes on the speaker, fill your mug with a hot drink, and camp out in the kitchen while you make a stellar chicken noodle soup.
I’ve divided the recipe into three parts: the broth, the noodles, and the final soup. I’ll mention a few things about each section.
Skip the shelves of cans and boxes of chicken broth and head to the poultry aisle. You are going to make today’s broth with a whole, raw chicken. Handling raw chicken, simmering it on the stove for two hours, and finally spending the time to hand-separate the meat from the bones requires effort. Is it worth it? I absolutely think so. Maybe it’s not realistic to make homemade broth everytime you want soup, but it’s a real treat for that special-occasion bowl of chicken noodle soup.
The good news is that you don’t have to just sit and stare out the window while the chicken is simmering. The noodles also require a bit of work, so you can get a head start on the process while the chicken cooks. These are the classic egg noodles you find in many chicken soups. Like the broth, you are also making the noodles from scratch. In my opinion, the difference between these fresh noodles and dried, packaged noodles is an even greater contrast than the difference between the homemade chicken broth and the canned version. If you for some weird reason had to take a shortcut, don’t take it with the noodles. You’ll never forgive yourself, trust me.
After you’ve made the noodle dough, roll it out as thin as possible without tearing the dough. When the noodles cook in the boiling water, they will grow significantly. It won’t be the end of the world if you don’t roll the dough out super thin, you’ll just end up with some meatier noodles in the final bowl of soup. My experience with noodle making is minimal and I’ve never used a pasta roller, so take my advice and instructions with a grain of salt. If you are a noodle master and have special equipment, do your thing and whip up some basic egg noodles to impress the crowds.
With the hard work done, all that is left is bringing the individual soup components together into a final product. In the recipe I suggest adding 2 cups of chicken meat to the broth and distributing the noodles into six portions. Feel free to adjust to your liking. You will most likely end up with a decent amount of leftover chicken meat. What did I do with it? I made a scrumptious chicken salad the next day, thanks for asking.
- EGG NOODLES:
- THE SOUP:
(click each step as you go to keep track of your progress)
- EGG NOODLES
Finished and want to make it again?
Chicken Noodle Soup From Scratch
- Prep time: 55min
- Cook time: 2h 30min
- Serving size: 5-6
- 1.8-2.2 kg (4-5 lb) whole chicken
- 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 4 cloves
- 3.5 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 6 parsley sprigs
- 1800-2300 mL (8-10 cups) water
- *EGG NOODLES:
- 240 g (2 cups) flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 30 mL (2 Tbsp) milk
- 14 g (1 Tbsp) butter, softened
- *THE SOUP:
- 28 g (2 Tbsp) butter
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh dill
- 1 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
Place whole chicken and all other broth ingredients in a large stockpot. Add water until everything is covered by about 2.5 cm (1 in). The exact amount of water depends on the size of your chicken.
Bring water to a boil. Cover, and reduce heat to bring water to a simmer. Allow everything to simmer for about 2 hours. During these 2 hours, begin preparing the egg noodles (see Step 4).
Strain the broth into a bowl and set aside. Separate the chicken from the vegetables, and discard the vegetables (you can eat the vegetables, but they are too mushy for the soup). When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the chicken and discard the skin and bones.
Mix together the flour, garlic salt, and 1/2 tsp salt in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a small bowl. Then add the liquid mixture and the softened butter to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir together until a shaggy ball of dough is formed.
Knead the dough for about 5 minutes, only adding flour to the kneading surface if the dough is excessively sticky. Too much flour will result in tough noodles.
Place the ball of dough in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
On a floured surface, roll out the dough as thin as you possibly can without tearing the dough. Monitor the dough as you roll to avoid having it stick to the counter.
Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 5 mm (1/4 in) strips. Store the cut noodles on a cookie sheet and allow to air dry as you continue preparing the broth and soup.
When it's time to begin making the soup, bring a large stockpot of water and 1 Tbsp salt to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until noodles are done. The noodles will all float to the surface of the water when they are nearly done. Drain the noodles and set aside until it is time to serve the soup.
Place a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Melt the butter, then add the diced celery and carrot. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pour the broth into the stockpot. Add the garlic and stir. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of chicken meat and simmer for an additional 2 minutes. Finally, remove the pot from heat and stir in the minced herbs.
To assemble, first distribute the cooked noodles among six bowls. Then ladle soup into each bowl over the noodles and serve.
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