Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Extra Stock

Craftsy

This week started off wet and there’s a cold front approaching, so it’s time for some chicken noodle soup!  Not the canned kind, of course, but homemade.  When I make it myself, I know what’s in it and I can make sure it’s full of flavor.  I also have leftover stock when I need it.  I cook the chicken over night in a crock pot, so it’s almost like it cooks itself!  This is the perfect meal to have on hand this time of year since cold season is at our door steps.  It already came knocking here and barged in like an uninvited guest.  Ok, let’s get cooking, cause I’m hungry!

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Ingredients

Most of the ingredients on the list are typical for chicken noodle soup.  The only ingredient that may be unusual is the turmeric.  Turmeric has lots of health benefits and is a perfect addition for this soup.  Just click on the link to find out more.  It will give everything a yellow tint as well, but it doesn’t really change the flavor to me.  You’ll also notice that I had to resort to using onion powder instead of a fresh onion.  My last onion had gone bad, so it was not my first choice.  Get the fresh onion, it’s much better!  I have also added mushrooms and/or spinach to this soup if available.

Some of the quantities for the spices may seem a little much.  I’m making a concentrated stock and dividing it in the end, so it will balance itself out.

Cooking the Chicken

I like to cook my chicken over night in the crock pot and have the smell wake me up in the morning.  You could also start it in the morning and have it ready by supper.  When I have an onion to add, I usually just cut it into quarters.  Put the chicken in the crock pot along with all the other ingredients.

Cover it with water and turn it on high for 5 hours or low for 8 hours.  Your cooking time may vary due to the crock pot used.  When the chicken comes apart with a spoon, it’s done!

Now scoop out the chicken and put it in a colander over a big bowl to cool.  Once it’s cool, remove the bones and skin, and shred the chicken.

Take a strainer a run it through to get out most of the garlic pieces.

At this point I scoop out about half of the stock into a large pot and add about 4 cups of water.  The rest I pour over the chicken in the colander, catching the carrots and onions, and letting the stock drain through into the bowl below.  If you can manage to pour it from the crock pot into the colander in one go, you’re more coordinated than me!  I’ve tried that before and made a big mess!

Bring the stock to a boil and add the pasta.  Or add the pasta then bring it to a boil – which is what I do!

Once the pasta is nearly done, add the chicken, carrots, and onions back in and reduce the heat to simmer.  I usually taste it at this point to see if I need to add any extra spices.  Let it simmer for up to 5 minutes then it’s time to eat!

This soup is wonderful to have when it’s cold outside or if you have a cold.  The pepper really helps clear the sinuses!

Extra Stock

What to to with the leftover stock?  There are several options to choose from:

  • Put it in a mason jar and store it in the fridge.  This is a good option if you are planning on using it within a week.
  • Put it in a freezer safe container and store it in the freezer.  This will last about 6 months.
  • Make bouillon cubes.  It’s really easy to do and you can find a great tutorial at A Return to Simplicity.  There’s nothing to add, you’re just reducing the liquid by boiling and the natural fats make it a gelatin once cooled.  This will also take up way less room in the freezer!  This is my favorite method to store stock and lasts 6 months to a year in the freezer.  If you go the extra step and dehydrate it, it can last up to 2 years.

You can visit my Pinterest board prep that pantry! for more ways to replace store bought pantry staples with homemade versions.  I’ve collected things from around the web for a few years now.  I think you’ll be surprised how many staples are easily replaced!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours, 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 hours, 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 bag baby carrots
  • 1 Tbsp tumeric
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp celery flakes
  • water to cover chicken + 4 cups
  • 8 oz egg noodles or spaghetti noodles

Instructions

  1. Add chicken, onion, carrots, and spices to crock pot. Cover with water and cook for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. The chicken should fall apart easily when done.
  2. Pour everything through a strainer/colander reserving the liquid in a large stock pot. Set the chicken aside and let cool.
  3. Divide the stock in half, keeping half for later use. Add the other half of the stock plus 4 cups of water to a large stock pot. Bring everything to a boil and add pasta.
  4. Once cool, debone and shred the chicken. Add chicken and carrots back to the pot once the pasta is done.
  5. Enjoy!
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