We love roast chicken here. Add mashed potatoes, collard greens and biscuits and it’s a dinner we look forward to all week! Once the chicken is all eaten up, the remains become an even better dinner, Soup!
Take your chicken carcass and put it in a large pot. Take 3 or 4 carrots and a couple of stalks of celery and break them into large chunks and put them in the pot, you don’t have to peel them or cut the ends off…they’re flavoring your broth, just make sure they’re clean. Cut an onion in half and toss that in there. Add a bay leaf or two, a few whole garlic cloves (smashed) a few whole peppercorns, a bit of salt and then enough water to cover the chicken by an inch or two. Bring this to a boil, reduce the heat, cover the pot and just let it simmer all day or at least 3 or 4 hours. When I make soup it takes all day. I start the pot early in the day and near dinner time the pot has reduced and the broth is a lovely golden color.
When you’re done simmering and your ready to start your soup, turn off the heat and let the pot cool down for about an hour, it will still be plenty hot, you just don’t want to scald yourself. Get your biggest bowl or another pot and put a colander in it. Carefully pour your pot of broth and bones and vegetables into the colander. That lovely broth is the base for your soup! Pour your broth back into your pot and put it back on the stove and bring it up to a simmer. You can put all kinds of vegetables in your soup…I put carrots, potatoes and buttercup squash. You can put your favorite vegetables in yours, just make sure they’re all cut to about the same size for even cooking.
Pick through the stuff in the colander and get out all the meat you can and put it in a separate bowl. You’d be surprised just how much meat is left on there! I take all the vegetable chunks and give them to the chickens.
With your broth simmering and cooking your vegetables, now it’s time to make your noodles!
Beat together 2 eggs and about 2.5 cups flour along with about 1/2 cup broth. I use a stand mixer and just dump everything in there and let it mix it up for me. But by hand, you’d mix it up as best you could and then knead it until it was smooth. Aim for a fairly stiff, but moist dough. Not too sticky. You made need more or less flour depending on the humidity. But don’t add too much, you don’t want dry noodles. Take your dough and roll it out to about 1/8″ thick, sprinkle flour over it then slice it with a pizza cutter or knife into fairly thin (1/4″) strips and then cut the strips to about 2 or 3 inches long. I have a hand crank pasta machine that rolls my dough out flat and then cuts my noodles for me (great machine and not terribly expensive either! Get your own here)
Be careful with your noodles and treat them gently. Try to keep them as separate as possible. It’s easier if you flour before you cut. Make sure your pot is gently boiling, increase the temperature slightly, and drop your noodles in one at a time until they’re all in there. Let the pot come back up to a boil (if it stopped, raising the temperature usually allows uninterrupted boiling) reduce the heat back to about medium and let the noodles cook for about 5 minutes.
Add your chicken, heat through and you’re done! Awesome homemade chicken noodle soup 🙂