Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Crock Pot Wednesday--Chicken Noodle Soup

I told you that last week's chicken and rice soup was the easiest soup I ever make. Then this one is definitely a close second! It is the same concept--use the crock pot to cook the chicken over night. Stir it up to shred it (it shreds that easily in the crock!), cook your noodles in broth, add seasonings, and put back in the crock on warm. 

Here is the unofficial recipe:

Combination of boneless, skinless thighs and breasts (or just one or the other)

Store bought "homemade" noodles

broth (or chicken base to create broth above and beyond the broth created from the cooked chicken)

Seasonings--I used the following: garlic and herb seasoning, parsley, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, dried celery, and Forward (a combination seasoning containing heavy black pepper, paprika...and more...)

1. Cook chicken in large crock pot overnight or all day. 

I always start chicken on high for an hour, so it is really hot then turn it to low for the night. I read somewhere years ago that you shouldn't start chicken on low because it is too low at first, and the chicken could become spoiled--not sure if it's true, but I've always done my chicken this way.

2. Next morning or an hour before dinner: Boil "homemade" noodles in broth until they are al dente

I keep my soup in the crock all day for my teachers to eat out of, so I don't fully cook my pastas; they become too soft if they are completely precooked then kept in a warm crock all day. If you are serving this soup immediately and not putting it back into the crock pot, you might want to fully cook the noodles .

3. Optional: If you like more aromatics in your soup (as opposed to onion powder and garlic powder and dried celery), while the noodles are cooking, stir fry small amount of onion and garlic and lots of celery in butter or olive oil until onions are extremely translucent.

4. While noodles are cooking, take two large serving forks and dig into the chicken and shred it.  

This will go really fast (like two or three minutes) if your chicken is tender and not overcooked. (I cook my chicken for 8 or 10 hours on low after the hour on high, and it is never tough; you could definitely cook it faster on high, if needed.)

5. Once noodles are done cooking, put noodles, broth and all, into the shredded chicken. 

Add the aromatics and the rest of the seasonings. Taste broth and add more base and/or seasonings as needed.

6. Turn on low if noodles were truly al dente and let the flavors mix.

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