Chicken Noodle Soup (With Homemade Chicken Stock)

I love to try and experiment with new flavors, textures, and combinations of those. My “recipes-to-try” folder has more than enough items to keep me busy in the kitchen for a long while, and still, I cannot stop looking for more interesting ideas.  Having said that, for the everyday meals, I prefer simple foods over anything too complex for my palate.  Like a bowl of chicken noodle soup.

One of the rewards of roasting chicken at home- after enjoying the chicken itself, of course, and after the leftover has been turned into sandwiches- is that you can use the carcass to make a wonderful broth that will elevate any soup or stew you make with it.  It is like a gift that keeps on giving.  This time, I used the carcass of a seven-pound roasted chicken and the reserved pan drippings, and omitted the celery (only because I didn’t have any on hand and was too lazy to make a trip to the grocery store for it).  More often than not, making stock is just throwing a bunch of readily available ingredients into a big pot and simmering away for hours.

Chicken Noodle Soup
(serves 4)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 bay leaf
8 cups chicken stock (recipe below)
8 oz cooked pasta, in any shape you like
1 ½ cups diced cooked chicken
¼ chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste

Coat the bottom of a soup pot with olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, carrots, celery, and bay leaf.  Cook until the vegetables are softened.  Pour in the chicken stock, bring it to a boil, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.  Add the pasta, chicken, and parsley, and simmer for another couple of minutes to heat through.  Remove the garlic cloves and bay leaf.  Season with salt and pepper, and serve hot.

Chicken Stock

Leftover bones from a cooked or raw chicken carcass
1 onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
1 bay leaf
A bunch of fresh parsley

Put the leftover bones from a chicken carcass into a large stock pot and cover with cold water. Add celery, onion, carrot, and parsley.  Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to barely a simmer.  Simmer uncovered for at least 2 hours.  Remove the bones and vegetables, strain the stock, and skim off the fat.  Let the stock come to room temperature and store in refrigerator or freezer.

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