Hearty Chicken Noodle Soup
Another America's Test Kitchen recipe. A couple of nice twists in this one. The original recipe called for one russet potato; I'm substituting two Yukon golds, because it'll just be better with a potato that has some buttery taste to it.
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 onion, chopped medium (1 cup)
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 celery rib, chopped medium (about 1/2 cup)
- 4 C water
- 8 C low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 (12-ounce) bone-in, skin-on split chicken breasts, cut in half crosswise
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/4 C cold water
- 1 onion, halved and sliced thin (about 1 cup)
- 2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 3/4-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
- 1 celery rib, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch piece (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 Yukon gold potatoes (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 4 oz egg noodles (about 1 cup) (I use 5 oz)
- 4-6 Swiss chard leaves, ribs removed, torn into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups) (optional) (NOT!)
- 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
1. FOR THE STOCK: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven [I actually needed to use a stock pot for the amount of liquid we're dealing with] over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the ground chicken, onion, carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is no longer pink, 5 to 10 minutes (do not brown the chicken).
2. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the water, broth, bay leaves, salt, and chicken breasts; cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the lid, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. (If the liquid is already boiling when the lid is removed, remove the chicken breasts immediately and continue with the recipe.) Transfer the chicken breasts to a large plate and set aside. Continue to cook the stock for 20 minutes, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle boil. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into a large pot or container, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Allow the liquid to settle for about 5 minutes and skim off the fat.
(The soup can be prepared through the end of step 2 and refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months. Store the chicken breasts in a zipper-lock bag with the air squeezed out, and the stock in an airtight container.)
3. FOR THE SOUP: Return the stock to the Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and water until a smooth slurry forms; stir into the stock and bring to a gentle boil. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and potato and cook until the potato pieces are almost tender, 10 to 15 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle boil. Add the egg noodles and continue to cook until all of the vegetables and noodles are tender, about 5 minutes longer.
4. Meanwhile, remove and discard the skin and bones from the reserved cooked chicken. Shred the meat with your fingers or 2 forks. Add the shredded chicken, Swiss chard (if using ... and you are, aren't you?), and parsley to the soup and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.