Wednesday Weekly 3: Chicken soup for the MB&S (mind, body & soul)

March certainly roared in like a lion this year!  

Well, here it is the beginning of March, and we survived the ‘bomb cyclone” this past Friday into Saturday. Unlike so many, our power held strong- we picked up plenty of branches and debris over the weekend. Too many trees are down, and crews are working to get them off the roads.

And now there is talk of another nor’easter to arrive.

I found that with delayed snow travels and several in the family eating away from home, each of us appreciates the sustenance of home cooking. So, Sunday night found me making a fast semi-homemade chicken vegetable and noodle soup. Along with a favorite simple recipe from Cooks Country,  I can’t live without these utterly basic spice tools and soup base.

1. Bee House Salt Box

2. Oxo Pepper Mill

3. Minor's Chicken Soup Base totally chicken-y, add to your soups, enhance store-bought chicken broth.


 Photo from America's Test Kitchen

Photo from America's Test Kitchen

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup (from Cooks Country)

We were after a comforting, deeply flavored chicken noodle soup that was easy enough to make when you're feeling under the weather. Browning bone-in chicken pieces before simmering them in store-bought chicken broth creates an intensely chicken-y soup base. A standard mix of onion, celery, and carrot simmered alongside the chicken enhanced rather than distracted from the chicken broth's richness. And though egg noodles are common in homemade versions, tasters preferred spaghetti broken into bite-size pieces, which gave a nostalgic nod to canned versions but had loads more flavor.

INSTRUCTIONS

Ingredients:

1 ½ pounds bone in chicken breasts/thighs, trimmed
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
8 cups chicken broth
1 onion chopped
1 carrot peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces
1 celery rib, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
5 ounces spaghetti broken in to 1 inch pieces ( 1 ½ cups)
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley

Keep scrolling for the how-to!

If you prefer, 4 ounces (2 cups) of egg noodles can be substituted for the spaghetti. Fresh dill can be substituted for the parsley.

1. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cook chicken until well browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add broth, onion, carrot, celery, thyme sprigs, bay leaf, and ¼ teaspoon salt, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until breasts register 160 degrees and/or thighs register at least 175 degrees, 14 to 17 minutes.

3. Remove pot from heat; discard thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Transfer chicken to plate and let cool slightly. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces; discard skin and bones.

4. Return soup to boil over medium-high heat and add pasta. Cook, uncovered, until pasta is tender, 9 to 11 minutes, stirring often. Add chicken and parsley and cook until chicken is warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.

TO MAKE AHEAD: Soup can be made through step 3, covered, and refrigerated for up to 2 days.

SERVES 4 TO 6

FOR YOUR LIFE, FOR YOUR FAMILY, FOR YOUR HOME, BOTH INSIDE & OUT, LET’S GO!

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