Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Not-At-All-Famous Chicken Soup

My sweet husband, unfortunately, is sick. This, by itself, is not anything catastrophic, but throw in his commitment to sing three French songs as part of a university faculty recital on October 25th and a head cold can become a major concern. We're proactive around here and taking the bull-by-the-horns sometimes often leads me to trouble at a faster rate than normal; however, this time, I knew my preemptive measures would be, in the words of Martha Stewart, "a good thing". Lucky for me, I was prepared, as always big surprise, with several whole chickens tucked away in the deep freeze and quickly thawing one to produce what has now been dubbed the "best chicken soup you've ever made" elevated me to the place of heroine for the evening. A girl does what she can. *sigh* After observing our 20-month-old son devour three full servings, I believed it must be pretty good (kids are, after all, brutally honest) and good things are meant to be shared...

Here's what you'll need:

1 whole chicken, rinsed
1 large onion
2 stalks celery
2 large carrots
1 Tbs. minced garlic
2 Bay leaves
2 Tbs. kosher salt
2 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbs. dried basil
2 sprigs rosemary
1 12oz. package fettuccine

First, cut the skin off of the chicken. Don't skip this step - it seems simple enough to cook the chicken with the skin on, but you want to really maximize your broth with juices from the meat and bones - not the fatty skin! It only takes a minute or two longer to cut/peel off the skin. Place the chicken breast side down in a large pot and cover almost completely with water. Turn the heat on to medium-high.

Now place the onion, celery, and carrots in the bowl of your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. I left a little onion out to coarsely chop by hand just to add texture, but you could easily pulse it all. Add vegetable mixture to your pot with the chicken. Now stir in salt, pepper, garlic, basil, bay leaves and rosemary. After you've compiled everything together in the pot, it should look something like this:
When mixture reaches a low boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and cook for approximately 1 hour. Remove the chicken from your broth, cool and remove meat from the bones. While you are waiting for the chicken to cool enough to handle, add an additional 4 cups of water to your broth, turn the heat up and bring to a boil. Break the fettuccine into 2-inch pieces and stir into boiling broth; cook until noodles are tender, about 10-12 minutes. Then turn the heat off and return the chicken to the pot, stirring well to combine. Serve and enjoy!