Teaching myself to cook, one recipe at a time.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Seems an odd time of year for it, but a cold has been making its way through the members of the household for the last week or so. I decided to take advantage of my current joblessness and made some chicken noodle soup for everyone.


I had previously decided not to blog about recipes that I’d gotten from other blogs, but I made an exception for this one. Chef John from foodwishes.com posts excellent video blogs about various recipes, dishes, and techniques. I love his site, both for the food and for the humor that he sneaks in to each video. A while back, he had posted a two-part video about roasted chicken broth and chicken noodle soup, and I couldn’t un-forget it for the sake of my own easier, albeit unremarkable soup.

So here goes.

First, I started off by making the broth. This is a roasted chicken broth, so let’s start off by roasting a chicken. Chef John said to use a 3.5-4 pound chicken, but Wegman’s didn’t have anything smaller than 5 or 5.5 pounds, so mine was a little bigger than intended. No worries, I just left it in the oven longer.

I sprinkled it with a generous amount of kosher salt.


Next, I quartered an onion and cut up some celery.


Here’s everything in the pan together.


I put it in a 400 degree oven for an hour. Chef John said 45 minutes, but given that my bird was almost 2 pounds heavier than his was, I thought an extra 15 minutes was prudent.

In the meantime, I heated up my lunch: leftover chili and cornbread. Mmm!


This is what it looked like after an hour. It was so pretty, I almost wished I could just stop here.


But I didn’t. I transferred the vegetables to a big soup pot. I also added a few whole cloves of garlic. Bear with me, as there is no overhead light above this stove.


Ketchup is Chef John’s secret ingredient in the broth.


Throw the ketchup in there.


Then add 2 quarts of cold water.


Finally, pull all the white breast meat from the chicken off the carcass and set it aside. I didn’t let it cool enough, so I did this messily with tongs in one hand and a steak knife in the other.


Put the remaining carcass in the pot, dark meat and all. In addition to the bones, you want to include the wings and thighs. Because of the size of my bird, I added 2 extra cups of water just so that everything would be covered up. At that point, maybe season with some more kosher salt and then you’re good to go. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 3 hours. Yes, THREE. That’s enough to get all the flavor out of the meat and into the water.


During this process, you can do two things. One, skim off fat as it comes to the surface. There is a lot of fat, since I didn’t remove the skin. Second, add water if necessary to keep the water level constant. I didn’t have to do this, as I had a lid over the pot and not much seemed to evaporate.


After three hours, this is what it looked like.


Now it’s time to remove everything chunky from the broth. I used a big slotted ladle to remove the biggest chunks.


When mostly everything was out, I strained the broth through a colander. I would have used a sieve, if I could find one, but this worked fine.


Here’s all that beautiful roasted chicken broth, ready to go.


Next, I prepared everything for the chicken noodle soup and set it aside until it was nearly dinner time.

I chopped up the breast meat that I had removed earlier.


And I diced carrot, celery, and onion.


See, here’s everything all ready to go.


About a half hour before I wanted to serve, I melted some butter in the soup pot. When it was melted, I added those veggies and started to sauté them.


After a few minutes, I added about a tablespoon and a half of that reserved chicken fat and let the veggies continue to cook and soften.



When they were starting to get tender, I returned the broth to the pot and turned it to high.


When it came a rolling boil, I added about half of this package of wide egg noodles (3 of the 6 clumps), breaking them up a bit so the noodles weren’t too big.


After about 5 minutes, I added the chicken and let it simmer, too. I also added some more salt to the soup, as well as a healthy shake of cayenne pepper.

And then it was done!



I served with some grilled cheese sandwiches. Nom nom nom.


This was good soup. It was really, really good. It was much better than my normal chicken noodle soup, which I make without roasting the chicken. But, it’s also a lot more time consuming. I don’t think I’ll be making this again for a long time, simply because it just takes forever. For now, though, we have a vat of leftover soup that I will enjoy. That is the wonderful thing about making soup.

I definitely recommend it if you have the time, but I also think there are easier recipes out there.

And I’d also recommend giving Chef John’s website a look. It’s worth it.

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