Introduction: How to Make Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
It is time to make a dinner that will make all of our grandmothers proud! No matter your previous experience, these instructions will help you create a delicious chicken noodle soup, complete with handmade noodles. With a little extra time and effort you will never want to turn to that cold can of soup in the pantry again. A basic knowledge of cooking is helpful but not required. Be sure to exercise caution when using sharp utensils and hot cooking appliances. Supervision is necessary for younger chefs to avoid injury, but little ones will love getting to participate in the fun. This recipe has been passed down in my family for over 150 years, and can now become a staple tradition in your home as well.
You will need:
1. Large Soup Pot (6-8 Quarts)
2. Sharp Knife
3. Cutting Board
4. Stove Top
5. Mixing Spoon or Ladle
6. Tongs or Slotted Spoon
7. Large Mixing Bowl
9. Flat and Clean Work Surface
10. Rolling Pin
11. Hand Noodle Cutter
a. (Items 10 and 11 can be substituted for a pasta machine… but there is something special about making pasta the way Great-Great-Great Grandma did)
For the Soup-
1. 1 Whole Rotisserie Chicken (Or leftover chicken you may have around)
3. 3 Tbsp. “Better than Base” Roasted Chicken Bullion Paste
4. 2 Tbsp. Balsamic Dressing/Marinade
5. 2 Tbsp. Italian Dressing
6. 1 tsp. Italian Seasonings
7. 1 tsp. Garlic powder
8. 1 tsp. Dried basil
9. Salt (to taste)
10. Pepper (to taste)
11. Optional Vegetables (Celery, Carrots etc.)
For the Noodles-
1. 8 eggs
2. 1/8 tsp Salt
3. 1/8 tsp Pepper
4. Approx. 3 cups flour (added in small amounts)
Let’s Do This!
Prep Time: 1.5 hours
Cook Time: 4-5 hours approx.
Serves: 8-10 people
Step 1: Carve the Chicken
There is no right or wrong way to carve your chicken. As long as you remove as much of the meat as possible from the bones, and get rid of the skin you are doing just fine. If the skin is left on during cooking, it is likely to slide off in the stock. This will leave unpleasant slimy chunks in your soup. However be sure to add the bones into the pot when preparing the stock, they will add tons of flavor to the broth. If you need help carving your chicken here is my method, if not feel free to skip to the next step.
a. Use a sharp knife to cut off the wings and legs of the chicken.
b. Peel off the skin of the wings and legs using a knife or your fingers.
c. Use your fingers to pull the chicken meat away from the bone into bite-sized pieces
d. Add the chicken meat and bones to the empty soup pot.
e. Use sharp knife to cut a shallow slit in the breast of the chicken. (See Image 2)
f. Wedge fingers underneath the skin and pull back. (See Image 3)
The skin should now peel off in large chunks and reveal large areas of breast meat.
g. Use knife or fingers to continue pulling meat off of the bones into bite sized pieces.
h. Add all of the remaining chicken and bones to the large pot. (See Image 4)
Step 2: Finish the Stock Preparation
a. Add enough water to the pot to cover the chicken.
Remember this will serve as the major volume of your soup. When the stock boils, the evaporating steam will cause the broth level to drop. Add a little more water than seems necessary at first in order to compensate. However, leave the water level a few inches below the rim of the pot so it does not overflow as it boils.
b. Set the pot on the stovetop with the burner on medium-high heat.
c. Cover the pot, while leaving the lid slightly cocked to allow steam to escape. (See Image 5)
d. Allow chicken to boil for 3-4 Hours.
Option: The stock preparation can easily be done the night before if preferred. Just follow all the steps as listed and turn off the burner when finished. The stock can rest on the stove until you are ready to finish the meal. At that point simply turn on the burner again and bring the soup back to a boil to continue.
Step 3: Use a Slotted Spoon or Tongs to Remove Bones From the Stock.
Warning: Do not forget there will be some small bones from the wings and legs, not just the large carcass pieces. Remove these as well to avoid choking hazards, especially for younger children.
Step 4: Stir in Bullion Paste, Dressings and Seasonings.
The dressings are a special family secret, they add a bright bold flavor to the soup. Allow the broth to continue to boil for a few minutes before tasting, this will allow the ingredients time to dissolve and work into the soup. It may seem bland at first if you taste it before allowing this to happen.
Step 5: Make It Your Own!
Now taste the broth and see what seasonings you may prefer to add. You may also add some vegetables, such as chopped celery or carrots if desired. (I just prefer to let the broth and noodles speak for itself.) Find the secret add-ins that make this yummy meal all your own! You may also want to add more water to compensate for the evaporated steam at this time if it has dropped dramatically.
Step 6: Whisk Together 6 Eggs Until Frothy.
You should see foam being formed on the top of the liquid.
Step 7: Add Salt and Pepper to the Eggs.
Step 8: Begin Adding the Flour to the Eggs in Small Amounts at a Time, Mixing Continuously.
Make sure to thoroughly incorporate the flour into the eggs each time. Avoid having clumps in the dough as they will make the noodles tough when they cook.
Step 9: Continue Adding Flour Until the Dough Is No Longer Sticky.
You should be able to pick up the dough and begin to roll it without it sticking to your hands or kitchen surface. Every time you make the noodles the amount of flour will very slightly. This occurs as the humidity in the air, temperature in the room etc. affect the consistency of the dough. As long as the dough is not sticky it is okay to adjust the measurements as needed.
Step 10: Time to Roll Out and Cut the Noodles
This is a great time to involve your kids in the cooking process. It is likely they are already circling around the kitchen anyway wondering what smells so good! I can remember being no more than 7 or 8 years old, pulling up a chair to the counter to help my mom and grandma roll out and drop in the noodles. It is a great way to build this family tradition.
Step 11: Clear Off a Flat Kitchen Surface and Sprinkle a Light Layer of Flour Across It.
Step 12: Take a Ball of Dough Approximately the Size of a Baseball and Place It on the Kitchen Surface.
Step 13: Roll Out the Dough Until It Forms a Sheet About 1/8 Inch (3 Mm) Thick.
If you find that the dough is sticking to the rolling pin or surface, fold a little more flour into the dough to reach the desired consistency. Additionally, make sure the dough is an even thickness all across the sheet. Noodles that are too thick will become tough when cooked and thin noodles will fall apart.
Step 14: Place the Pasta Cutter at the Bottom Edge of the Dough and Roll Upwards to Cut the Dough Into Noodle Strips.
Warning: Always roll the pasta cutter away from the body to avoid injury. Do not place other hand in front of the cutter while rolling.
Step 15: Continue Cutting the Noodles by Moving the Pasta Cutter Across the Sheet of Dough.
Step 16: Pick Up a Section of Noodles and Separate Them Along the Cut Edges, Then Drop Them Into the Boiling Soup.
Warning: Be careful when dropping the noodles in as burns can occur from the boiling broth splashing up.
Step 17: Repeat Steps 13-17 With Another Ball of Dough Until All of the Noodles Have Been Made.
Step 18: Allow the Noodles to Cook in the Soup for 5-8 Minutes.
The noodles will float up towards the top so be sure to stir them in with your spoon or ladle to ensure they all cook evenly. Some will break apart in the process but this is not a problem. You will probably cut them up while you eat anyway.
Step 19: Time to Eat!
Just like that you have made a delicious (and I must say very impressive) homemade chicken noodle soup. Making soup and noodles from scratch can be a very daunting task but it is so worth it in the end. I hope you enjoy this recipe for years to come just like I have. Maybe one day your great grandkids will be making this meal for you.