Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Chicken Noodle Soup

For many years Martha Stewart was my domestic goddess of choice. That changed a number of years ago when I discovered that despite her fondness for butter and cream, Ina Garten created food that I could eat on a regular basis. Move over, Martha, there's a new queen in town and she doesn't necessarily raise her own chickens and grow her own vegetables before putting a meal on the table.

I've been cooking my way through several of her cookbooks and decided it was time to try Ina's take on chicken noodle soup (Barefoot Contessa Family Style). Ina has convinced me that baking chicken breasts for chicken soup or for chicken salad is far superior to poaching them. I was converted the first time I made her spectacular chicken salad (recipe here).

Serves 6
1 whole (2 split) chicken breast, bone in, skin on
olive oil
Kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 quarts homemade chicken stock
1 cup medium-diced celery (2 stalks)
1 cup medium-diced carrots (3 carrots)
2 cups wide egg noodles (about 3 oz dry) - I use the no yolk variety
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the chicken breast on a sheet pan and rub the skin with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes until cooked through. When cool enough to handle, remove the skin, then remove the meat from the bones and dice the chicken meat.

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer in a large pot and add the celery, carrots, and the noodles. Simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the noodles and vegetables are cooked. Add the cooked chicken meat and parsley. Season to taste and serve.
This is not rocket science. This is a straightforward recipe for those nights when you don't have time to start with a whole chicken and work your way through making stock, then turning it into soup. Either use chicken stock you've made and frozen ahead of time, or cheat and use one of the many stocks available in the market.  This is soul-satisfying soup that we enjoyed as dinner with some cheesy garlic bread. Leftovers make a wonderful lunch, or eat half and freeze half for another, "I got home late and don't have time to cook." This is a filling, yet relatively low-calorie food.


  1. Perfectly comforting!

  2. Home made chicken soup is one of my husbands favorites, in fact we just finished up a huge pot. So much a comfort food, and great on a cool night like we had!

  3. Ina is a recipe writing genius as far as I'm concerned. I don't think I've ever had one of her recipes that wasn't excellent. Plus, this would fit nicely into my ww plan. Thanks for pointing it out :)

  4. On the way home from Longboat Key, I watched an episode of Barefoot Contessa. On this one, Ina roasted shrimp. She drizzled them with olive oil, seasoned them, and roasted them for 7 minutes and they looked perfect. She's the Queen!

  5. Welcome back Arlene! I feared you were not going to blog again and it's good to see you! I like Ina and I believe roasting makes almost everything taste better as it makes the meat, vegetable or fruit caramelize.

  6. The roasting/baking chicken trick from Ina's is one of my favorites too--it is amazing how much more flavor it adds. Your soup looks delicious--I love a good chicken soup. ;-)


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