I knew it would happen eventually. The cold weather has finally arrived. Until now I maintained a falsely- based optimism. Hope, you could call it, in the midst of the almost 60-degree days we’ve been experiencing. Inwardly I’ve even secretly thought “It’s January. Maybe winter will just skirt around us and the next thing we know-POUF! It will be spring.”
That’s called denial, right?
Temperatures in the upper teens and wind gusts upward of 25 mph make me want to slip into pajamas, throw a few logs on the fire, and curl up on the sofa with a steaming bowl of this chicken noodle soup
One of the reasons I especially like this recipe is that it’s a one-pot affair. The stock is made as part of the process while poaching the chicken. Orecchiette works nicely because the shape deliciously cups and cradles the stock and bits of vegetables.
The last time I made this soup, I reheated it for my son the next day with some warm crusty bread and he exclaimed “This is the BEST lunch I’ve had in a long time!”
Isn’t that reason enough to make a pot?
chicken noodle soup
1 whole chicken ( 3 1/2 to 4 pounds-don’t be tempted to go bigger. It won’t fit in your stockpot)
4 medium carrots, cut into pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into pieces
1 large onion, chopped
bundle of thyme, tied together with kitchen twine
1 14.5 ounce can northern or other beans, rinsed
17 ounces of orecchiette or other type of pasta
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Place chicken in a 10 or 12 quart stockpot (be sure to remove parts from inside of chicken first). Add onion, celery, and carrots. Cover chicken and vegetables with water by a couple of inches (approximately 12 cups). Add bay leaf and thyme bundle. Season with salt and pepper. Be generous-approximately 2 tsp salt and one tsp pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until chicken is cooked through, approximately 45 minutes. Skim fat and foam from top of stock as the chicken cooks.
When chicken is cooked, carefully remove from pot to a cutting board. Remove and discard skin. Shred chicken as you remove it from the bone. Remove bay leaf and thyme and return shredded chicken to the pot. Add lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. While soup is simmering, add pasta and cook until al dente (tender, but firm). Add beans. Taste it. Does it need salt and pepper? Season to taste.