To me, chicken noodle soup is the sketchiest of soups. Funky chicken parts usually lurk among the noodles and carrots. Restaurants try to jazz it up with lots of herbs and spices, making it taste the opposite of comforting. I never order chicken noodle soup.
But I like the idea of chicken noodle soup… it’s legendary for being good for the soul. Shouldn’t I love it? Do you?
When I was knocked down with the flu a few weeks ago (slept for days), my dad and Gran Shan were visiting. She made this chicken noodle soup and it changed my stance on anti-chicken-noodle-soup-eating. I tasted it, expecting to hate it, and was shocked when I loved it. I thought I’d be glancing over my shoulder, furtively pouring it down the drain, and instead I was going for seconds.
And now I’m bringing her recipe to the internet as I’m fairly certain the world wide web probably has a shortage of chicken noodle soup recipes.
I had an epiphanie the moment I tried this soup: I get what the fuss is all about. Chicken noodle soup is comforting. But only this kind.
This is the perfect recipe to make for friends with the flu. Here’s how:
- a whole chicken
- Better than Bullion Chicken (this is the secret ingredient)
- Egg noodles
That’s all you need. This takes a few hours, so wait until a Saturday or Sunday to embark on this adventure. It requires more time than skill to make the perfect chicken noodle soup.
Here’s what to do:
1. Put a whole chicken in a pot. Cover it with water (like 2 inches over it.) Cut up an onion into large chunks and toss it in, too. You’ll take this out after it boils.
2. Boil it for an hour to an hour and a half (rapid first, then a low boil on medium/low) until the chicken easily falls off the bone. Take all of the onion and chicken out of the pot – either strain it or just take it out with tongs. No funny business.
3. Let the chicken cool until it won’t scald your fingers. That should be 10? 15? Minutes. Fold some laundry, browse insta stories, read a chapter. You’ve got some down time.
4. Chop up carrots and celery. Throw into the broth and let it cook for about 15 minutes. Make sure the carrots aren’t crunchy. Then you’ll know it’s done. Pull apart the chicken and chop it up, add to the pot.
5. Boil the noodles in a separate pot: keeping the noodles separate is key to this soup, unless you love soggy, mushy, gross noodles. Do not put the noodles in the same pot as the chicken broth…. ever. Keep them seperate, even in storage. I’m prone to skimming recipes and missing a crucial element, so I just want to reiterate one more time: do not mingle the noodles with the pot of chicken soup. Drain the noodles, leave them alone.
6. Here is the secret ingredient that makes this chicken noodle soup: scoop in a tablespoon at a time the better than bullion – I put three or four in the last batch I made.
7. Put the noodles in the bottom of the bowl, pour the soup on top.
This chicken noodle soup lives up to it’s reputation, and when I had the flu, it was the only thing I wanted to eat. When my mother-in-law had the flu, it was the only thing she wanted to eat. Based on this case study, it’s pretty much the perfect flu comfort food.