Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from Tyler Florence's Dinner at My Place
For the chicken stock:
- 1 whole free-range chicken (about 3-1/2 pounds), rinsed, giblets discarded
- 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
- 3 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
- 2 large white onions, quartered
- 1 head of garlic, halved
- 1/4 bunch fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
For the chicken soup:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 quarts chicken stock, recipe follows
- 8 ounces dried orzo
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Step 1: To make the chicken stock: Place the chicken and vegetables in a large stockpot over medium heat. Pour in only enough cold water to cover (about 3 quarts); too much will make the broth taste weak.
Step 2: Toss in the thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns, and allow it to slowly come to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and gently simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, partially covered, until the chicken is done.
Step 3: As it cooks, skim any impurities that rise to the surface; add a little more water if necessary to keep the chicken covered while simmering.
Step 4: Carefully remove the chicken to a cutting board. When its cool enough to handle, discard the skin and bones; hand-shred the meat into a storage container.
Step 5: Strain the stock through a fine sieve into another pot to remove the vegetable solids.
Use the stock immediately or if you plan on storing it, place the pot in a sink full of ice water and stir to cool down the stock. Cover and refrigerate for up to one week or freeze.
Step 6: To make the chicken soup: Place a soup pot over medium heat and coat with the oil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaf. Cook and stir for about 6 minutes, until the vegetables are softened but not browned.
Step 7: Pour in the chicken stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Add the orzo and simmer for 7 minutes until tender.
Step 8: Fold in the chicken, and continue to simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through; season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.