Despite my efforts, I realize obsessing with hand-washing and antibacterial products will not create an invisible bubble to protect me from germs. This year seems worse. There’s no getting around it—everyone is sick. Our four-year-old seems like he has the sniffles on an every other week rotation. My husband and I do our best to stay healthy, but when it spreads to us, I crave chicken noodle soup.
I started by poaching a whole chicken with carrots, celery and leeks. Parsley and thyme added even more flavor to the sock. After it simmered on the stove, I had perfectly poached soup chicken that I ended up using in a few other meals like salads and tacos. I made sure to cook the pasta in a separate saucepan and only added it to the soup when I was serving it. Then I didn’t risk soggy noodles.
Chicken Noodle Soup
For chicken stock
1 whole chicken (3 to 3-1/2 pounds), giblets removed
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs fresh thyme
4 fresh parsley stems
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
3-4 quarts cold water
2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
2 celery stalks, sliced 1/4-inch-thick
8 ounces pasta
2 cups shredded chicken
Salt & black pepper
Chopped fresh parsley for serving
For the stock, place the chicken with the carrots, celery, leeks, peppercorns, bay leaf, thyme, parsley stems and garlic in a large soup pot. Add the water so it just covers chicken. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer, partially covered, on low heat. Simmer the mixture for 1 hour until the chicken is cooked.
Transfer the chicken to a plate. Once it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin. Using a fork shred the meat. Discard the bones and carcass.
Pour the stock through a fine mesh strainer into a large saucepan to remove the vegetables and herbs. If you are not using the stock immediately, cool it in an ice bath before refrigerating it up to 1 week or freezing.
For the soup, add the carrots and celery to the chicken stock and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
In a medium saucepan, cook the pasta according to package instructions. Rinse under cold water before adding to the stock along with the shredded chicken. Simmer for a few minutes until heated through. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.