This is a variation of the recipe that appeared in The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry. It’s a straight-forward recipe that can be adapted to whatever you might have in your house when the dark specter of the flu or a cold appears. It employs a sturdy dose of garlic as the root has long been thought to have an array of medicinal qualities, including killing bacteria. Bone-in chicken is important as it adds significant flavor.
I prefer whole wheat yolkless wide noodles, but I’ve used broken spaghetti and even ramen in a pinch. My supermarket sells a bag of frozen “soup vegetables” and, tissue in hand, I’ve toss that into the pot frozen, sautéed until soft and proceeded with fine results. If you don’t have Herbs de Provence, thyme or mixed Italian herbs will work just fine. If you want to toss in a bouillon cube as my mom does with hers, go for it, but don’t add salt until the end.
If you’ve got fresh herbs, tie a bunch of them up with kitchen string and toss into the pot. I’m talking thyme, parsley and/or oregano. No fresh herbs? Use dried. My husband likes a bit of spice in his soup, so I add in a wee bit of Sriracha at the end. This makes about eight healthy servings, or enough for a couple days with the flu. This also freezes well, so I keep a couple cups of it frozen – just in case.
Chicken Noodle Soup
1 ½ pounds (750 kg) chicken pieces, a mix or white and dark, skin removed
About 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 ½ cups)
2 large carrots, chopped (about 1 cup)
3 to 4 stalks celery, chopped (about 1 cup)
½ cup (125 ml) white wine
2 quarts chicken stock, vegetable broth or water
Bouquet of fresh herbs or
2 teaspoons herbs de Provence, thyme, mixed Italian or poultry seasoning
2 bay leaves
About 1 teaspoon salt
Few cranks of black pepper to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 ounces (50 g) noodles
1 tablespoon or so minced fresh parsley (optional)
Hot sauce, Sriracha or cayenne (optional)
Trim any excess fat from the chicken and discard. In a 6-quart or larger pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, celery and carrot and cook, stirring regularly, until softened, about five minutes. Add the white wine, stir the bottom to loosen any brown bits as it reduces by one-half, about two to three minutes.
Next, add the stock and/or water and chicken. Bring this to a gentle boil, then back down to medium heat until mostly just gurgling. Vigilantly skim fat and foam from the surface with a spoon. When it appears that no more skimming is necessary, drop the heat to a simmer and add the herbs. Simmer partially covered for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken from the soup with tongs. Add the garlic. Continue to simmer the liquid for about 20 minutes while the chicken cools. Remove the meat from the chicken, discarding the bones. Cut or shred the meat into bite-sized pieces and return to the pot. Add the noodles and increase the heat to a gentle boil cook until soft. Check seasonings adding salt and pepper. Stir in the parsley if using.