Chicken Noodle Soup, Homegrown!

Reader Contribution by Sherry Leverich Tucker
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This is the time of year that I really
appreciate the work that went into the broiler chickens that we
raised the summer before. Being able to bring one of them out of the
freezer, thaw it out and either stew it or bake it is very
satisfying! When we raised the chickens last summer I put off butchering
so that they could get more size on them. This really makes them
excellent for stewing, and I end up with enough meat to make at least
2 meals.

One of our most loved mealtime
favorites for stewed chicken is:

Chicken Noodle Soup 

It starts with
a whole chicken, thawed, rinsed and placed in a pot filled with
enough water to almost cover the chicken. Add cleaned and chopped
carrots, celery, onion, salt, pepper and dried or fresh sage.
Rosemary or parsley are also good with chicken. And, it isn’t quite
the same, but adding dried onion and celery works well if fresh is
not available. I use what I have or need to use. I save tops of
celery, leftover onion and carrots that are too old to eat fresh to
use for broth. 


Bring the pot of chicken and broth to a
boil and gently simmer for a couple of hours. The chicken is done
when it is tender and the legs are easily pulled apart. The pot can be
simmered longer without a problem, but the longer the chicken cooks
the more it will fall apart causing it to be harder to handle. Take
the pot off the heat source and let the chicken and broth set until
cool enough to handle.

I like to use my very large colander
over a large bowl to strain the broth from the chicken and
vegetables. Debone the chicken and chop into 1 inch pieces.
Since my chickens are so large, I use half of the chicken for soup,
and save the other half for another meal.

For chicken noodle soup I use about 1 ½
quarts of the broth. I pour this into a dutch oven and pour the
remainder of the broth into a jar with lid and store in the
refrigerator for use in another recipe. When the broth is simmering
I add either a couple of chicken bouillon cubes or a Tablespoon of
chicken base (this adds a little more salt and flavor). I also to add some of the stewed celery and carrots to this soup for color and a little added flavor. Now it is time to make the noodles!

The basic egg noodle is a very simple

Take 2 eggs and mix with a tablespoon of water. Stir until
blended then add 1 cup of flour, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp coarse ground
pepper. Mix well, then add enough flour to pull it together to the
consistency of bread dough. Make it into a ball and set on a floured
countertop to rest for 5 minutes.

Knead, adding flour until it isn’t
sticky. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough thin. Keeping it well
floured will help it from sticking together when it is cut into
noodles. At this point the dough can either be rolled up (jelly-roll
style) and cut into noodles, or a pizza cutter can be used to cut the
noodles. How wide or long to make the noodles is completely personal
preference. Separate the noodles, being sure to dust with flour to
keep them from sticking. The noodles can be used immediately. Make
sure that the broth is simmering and add the noodles in small
amounts, stirring to keep them separated. Don’t worry about the
excess flour, it will add thickness to the soup as it cooks into the
broth. After all the noodles have been added, cover and simmer for
30 minutes.


Time to Enjoy! 

When the noodles are fully cooked, add
chicken and heat through. Taste test to see if it needs anything,
then ladle and serve! Chicken noodle soup is a great meal in itself
and is full of nutrition. Besides that it taste wonderful! Please
let me know how you make your chicken noodle soup, or if you have
other noodle techniques to share.