I have memories of my grandmother's homemade chicken and dumplings, and to this day, I've never had any that come close. Unfortunately, I don't have that recipe, but I've come up with a chicken noodle soup recipe that my kids love.
It's really not that difficult to make great tasting Chicken and Noodle Soup. Really! With the convenience of using a supermarket roasted chicken, you can get incredible flavor without starting from scratch.
When I started testing recipes, I looked through all my conventional cookbooks, gourmet cookbooks, online, etc. All the recipes I found seemed to lack the flavor I was looking for - you know, that great 'chickeny' depth of homemade chicken soup? So, I started looking in those cookbooks from churches and women's organizations.
Although I didn't find the exact recipe there, I did have some thoughts that led to my current method. I use a noodle recipe from a very sweet lady who goes to my church, Delores Koster. Her soup recipe is in the St. Francis Xavier, Carbondale, Illinois Cookbook.
The struggle I was having lied in making the stock/broth/base for the soup. That's when I decided there had to be a better, easier, faster way to get the flavor I wanted without waiting for a whoe chicken, vegetables and some seasonings to figure out how to marry together appropriately.
One night after my daughter's basketball game, we stopped to get a rotisserie chicken and the grocery store for dinner. My family only likes the white meat, so we have part of the chicken left over. Rather than tossing it, because no one liked the dark meat, I froze the whole thing until I could figure out how to use up the remaining chicken.
My son had been asking for homemade chicken and noodles, and that's when I decided to give it a try. I added what was left of the rotisserie chicken into water with some vegetables and spices to make the base for the soup. After a couple of hours of simmering on the stove - and it smelled great - I strained the mixture and boned what was left of the chicken. Ironically, my kids don't really like a lot of chicken in their soup, so this idea works out great for us. And, for some reason, they eat the dark meat in this soup.
I add the noodles and let it simmer for at least an hour or two. Usually, I have towater prior to adding the noodles. The result is really good. It has become one of those meals that everyone looks forward to, and the kids always ask for when they don't feel well. I guess that's the true test of chicken soup, right? I hope you enjoy it, too!
By the way, feel free to add new carrots or whatever other kind of vegetables you would like to this soup. My kids prefer to have a bowl of steamed broccolli and cauliflower that they can dip in the broth, so I don't add anything but noodles to the strained broth for us.
Chicken Noodle Soup
1 Grocery Store Rotisserie Chicken - or the remaining part of one. (If you like a lot of chicken in your soup, you may want to add a chicken breast or two if not using a whole chicken) 1 Medium Onion, quartered 2 Stalks Celery, cut into 2 inch pieces 5 whole Peppercorns 1 T. Poultry Seasoning 1 T. Sea Salt Water
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