Saturday, March 13, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

Words cannot describe just how ashamed I am of myself for eating canned chicken noodle soup all these years. All that sodium!?!? Now I know that fresh, home made chicken noodle soup is not supposed to taste like that .. flu or no flu. My oh my was this so fresh and tasty though! My husband only likes salty soups (can we say 'Ramen Noodles') and he loved this and even said, "It tastes like the stuff in the can but a lot less salty. I like it." It's true it's less salty but I have to disagree .. it tastes much better than the stuff in a can. I could never eat Campbell's version of  "chicken" because it never really looked all that kosher to me.

Also I wanted to mention that in the original recipe it called for kale and although I am not a big fan of greens in my chicken noodle soup, I was willing to give it a try. Much to my disappointment my husband convinced me that these leeks he bought were in fact kale until we got home from the store and he looked up a picture online. I'm sure neither of us really missed the kale.

Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from: Annie's Eats, Originally Cooks Illustrated December/January 2009 

For the stock:
1 tbsp canola oil
1 lb ground chicken
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup chopped celery
4 cups water
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
salt, to taste
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

For the soup:
3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ cup cold water
1 cup onion, diced
½ cup celery, diced
1 cup carrot, peeled and sliced
2 cups egg noodles (8 oz)
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
To make the stock, heat the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken, onion, carrot and celery to the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes untile meat is no longer pink. Stir frequently. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add water, broth, bay leaves, salt and chicken breasts. Cover and cook for 25-30 minutes.

Remove the lid, increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. (If the liquid is already boiling as it was for me, remove the chicken breasts immediately and continue.) Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate and set aside. Continue to cook the stock for 20 minutes, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle boil. While stock is cooking, shred the chicken into desired eatible sized chunks.

Pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl. Press on the solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids. Allow the stock to settle for about 5 minutes. Skim fat off the surface. Return the stock to the large pot and return to medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water; whisk together well. Stir the mixture into the stock and bring to a gentle boil.

Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook 10-15 minutes. Add the egg noodles and continue to cook until vegetables are tender and the noodles are cooked, about 5 minutes. Be sure to not over-cook the noodles! Add the chicken to the soup and cook just until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

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