I made this soup last night. It is delicious and perfect for a crisp fall day.
1 Whole chicken, 2.5 - 3 lbs.
4 Stalks of celery
3 Onions, medium size
8 Oz. frozen peas
10 Sprigs fresh parsley
1/2 Tb. dried thyme leaves
1 Bay leaf
3 Cloves of garlic
2 Tb. butter
1 1/4 C. Flour
1 Pinch of salt
1/4 C. Milk
1/2 Tb. Butter
First, make the soup stock. Throw the whole chicken into a large soup pot with enough water to not-quite cover the chicken. While heating the water, chop 2 carrots, 2 celery, and 1 onion roughly. Add these to the chicken-water. Also add 3 cloves of roughly chopped garlic, 1 bay leaf, a few sprigs of parsley, 1/2 T. thyme, salt, and pepper. Now, add more water so the chicken is covered. Cover the stock and bring it to a boil. Then, reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes or so, until the chicken is nice and tender.
While the stock is simmering, prepare the egg noodles, which are my 2nd favorite part of this soup. I only made them myself because I was too sore to ride my bike to the store to buy egg noodles, and I'm glad I was. Another benefit of marathoning.
Stir together 1 1/4 C. flour and a pinch of salt. To the flour, add 1 beaten egg, 1/4 C. milk, and 1/2 Tb. melted butter (I combined these three in that 2 cup shaker Ann C. (aka mom) got us for Christmas). Mix well, then knead for 5 minutes. Roll out to about 1/4 in. thickness. Roll them back up into a log, like you would a sleeping bag, then cut into about 1/4 in. strips. They will expand a bit when cooked. Cut them to 2 inches in length as well. Then, put the noodles on a clean towel to let them dry out before cooking. They only need to dry about 2 hours, which is how long it takes the soup to cook! A match made in heaven.
Ok, the noodles are made, and the stock is simmering away. Chop up the remaining carrots (4), celery (2), and onion (2) into quarter inch pieces.
Once the stock is done simmering, strain the stock into a clean bowl or pot. Be sure not to pour it down the drain. You can discard the stock veggies, but keep the chicken. Some people skim fat off of the stock. I kept it, and it tastes good.
In your now-empty stock pot, melt 2 Tb. butter and saute the carrots, onion, and celery for about 8 minutes.
While the veggies are cooking, break down that chicken. You should be able to just pull the wings, legs, and thighs apart. I recommend doing so early and letting them cool off before handling too much. Pull the dark meat off the bird (legs, thighs, wings) and try some, because it is delicious, and also my #1 favorite part of this soup. Next, carve the out the breast meat-
" The breastbone runs along the top center of the chicken carcass. Feel for it with your fingers. Make a 3-inch-long slit along both sides of the breastbone. Dig your fingers into one of the slits and peel the entire half of the breast meat off the carcass. Do the same to remove the breast meat an the other side." - Marion Cunningham
Chop the meat into about 1/2 inch pieces. Add the meat, frozen peas, and reserved stock to the sauteed veggies, and simmer for about an hour. While the soup is simmering, flip those egg noodles over so the other side can dry.
After 1 hour of simmering, chop the remaining parsley and add to the soup. Add the egg noodles as well, and simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the noodles are cooked.