Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Leftover Roasted Chicken Noodle Soup

Normally I'm all about making tasty dishes that are pretty easy and fairly fuss-free.  I don't love dishes that take multiple steps and/or have weird, hard to find ingredients -- mainly because I have the attention span of a gnat and I'm lazy.  But sometimes doing a little extra work pays off for your taste buds to make it all worth your while.

For anyone who has ever gone to the infamous and delicious Swiss Chalet here in Canadaland you'll know that they make an awesome 'full of veggies and big ol' chunks of roasted chicken' chicken noodle soup.  Boy 1 adores this soup so I went on a mission to make my own version of this soup for him.  With a little tweaking (a tip that Brad gave me) I turned a good soup into a wicked awesome soup.  Is it the healthiest option? Ummm, I plead the 5th.  But sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind and just make a wicked awesome soup. The kind of soup that you find yourself fighting with your spouse over the leftovers. 

Back to the multiple step issue.  For this soup you'll have to start by making my Rotisserie-Style Roasted Chicken.  Stay with me now!  You're not going to be making that deliciously roasted chicken just for this soup.  Whatcha do is you make two chickens -- eat one of them that night and save one chicken (along with a bunch of the gravy) for this soup.  See, you not only add deliciously moist roasted chicken to your soup but you add the secret ingredient (Brad's idea) -- the nicely spiced gravy as your secret weapon.  It seriously added so much more depth and flavour to the soup because, honestly, gravy has all the flavour and drippings from the chicken!

So, sure it's a multiple step recipe but when you think of it you're saving time by cooking two chickens at once.  You can easily make the chicken stock ahead of time too.  You can use a really good quality chicken broth as a substitute for homemade but you won't get that extra flavour from the chicken bones or the spice from the rub that was put on the roasted chicken.  Making homemade stock (my first time) wasn't hard in the slightest.  It just took time for the stock to simmer so I got other stuff done around the house while it was on the stove.

As Fall and Winter loom ahead I can see The Baking Bookworm family dining on this hearty, 'warm 'yer bones' soup regularly.  Enjoy!


Step One: Cook two chickens using my Rotisserie-Style Roasted Chicken recipe.  I recommend doing this at least a day before you plan to make the soup.  Reserve one of the chicken carcasses, 2 cups of roasted chicken meat and 1 cup of the gravy.

Step Two: Make your chicken stock from scratch
2 tbsp oil
1 carcass from a roasted chicken (meat removed and saved for later)
12 cups water
3 carrots, medium diced
2 ribs of celery, medium diced
1/2 yellow onion, medium diced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
kosher salt
1 tsp black peppercorns

Break the chicken carcass up into small pieces (using a knife or kitchen scissors). 

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Place carcass pieces into the pot, covering the bottom and cook it for a few minutes, turning occasionally, until carcass pieces are browned.  This is gonna smell awesome!

Place the remaining ingredients into the pot and stir, ensuring that you scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pot.  Don't forget this step.  Those brown bits are flavourful!! 

Bring broth to a simmer over medium heat -- don't boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer broth for 1 1/2 to 2 hours to help the flavours blend together. 

Using a large slotted spoon remove as much of the chicken/veggies as you can.  Pour the remainder of the chicken stock through a fine sieve to remove any small pieces/bones and veggies.  Discard (green waste) the bones and veggies.  You should have about 6 cups of broth. 

Cool your chicken broth to room temperature and skim off the scum layer. You can either refrigerate the broth now (to use within three days), use immediately to make soup or freeze chicken stock for later use (within 1 month of freezing).

Step Three: Make Soup
6 cups of chicken broth (homemade or the best quality you can find)
2 carrots, sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 medium yellow onion
1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh black pepper
1 cup egg noodles, uncooked
2 cups chicken meat, coarsely chopped from Rotisserie-Style Roasted Chicken
1 cup chicken gravy from Rotisserie-Style Roasted Chicken

Over medium-high heat bring your chicken stock to a simmer.  Add the carrots, celery, onions, thyme, 1 tsp Kosher salt and pepper (to taste).  Return to a simmer then reduce heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, approximately 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook egg noodles according to package instructions until they are al dente.  Drain and rinse with cool water.  Set aside.

Shred reserved roasted chicken meat into small pieces.

Add cooked noodles, chicken meat and reserved chicken gravy to the soup and simmer.  Cook for approximately 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper according to taste. 

Serve with:
- Green salad
- Herb and Garlic Topped Rosemary Bread or Bread Maker Crusty Loaf

Inspired by: Chow.com's Easy Chicken Noodle Soup from a Leftover Roasted Chicken

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