Just Like I Remember from Grandma

This is probably one of the more easy things I have done and came out great. One Costco chicken can be turned into enough soup to feed a hungry family of 6. Even the picky youngest ate it up. I’m writing this down, because I’m making it again.

There are basically four different parts to this receipe: (1) Keeping Back Some Meat, (2) Making the Broth, (3) Making the Noodles, and (4) Making the Soup.

Ingredient List

  • One Rotisserie Chicken (Costco Works Great)
  • For the Broth:
    • Rotisserie Chicken and Juices Minus the Breast Meat
    • 8 Cups of Water
    • One Washed Carrot – Cut in Half
    • One Stalk of Celery – Cut in Half
    • One Whole Fresh Onion – Cut in Half
    • 2 Bay Leaves
    • 1 Teaspoon of Salt (Kosher is My Preference)
  • For the Noodles:
    • 1 1/4 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
    • 1 Pinch of Salt
    • 1 Egg – Beaten
    • 1/4 Milk
    • 3/4 Tablespoon of Soft Butter
  • For the Soup:
    • 2 Tablespoons of Butter
    • 1/8 Cup of Chopped Onion (Can Use Up to 3/4 Cup)
    • 3/4 Cup of Chopped Celery
    • 1 Cup of Sliced Carrots
    • 2 Cloves of Garlic (or the equivalent from garlic in a container) – Minced
    • 8 Cups of the Amazing Broth We are Making (i.e., all of it)
    • All of The Noodles We are Making
    • 1/2 Teaspoon of Dried Parsley
    • Salt and Pepper to Tastes (I used about two pinches of Salt and 6 grinds of pepper)
    • 1 1/2 of the Chicken Breasts from the Rotisserie Chicken

(1) Keeping Back Some Meat

I cut off the two chicken breasts from the rotisserie chicken to be the meat in the soup. You may choose whichever meat that you like best to reserve for the soup.

(2) Making the Broth

Put everything in an instant pot or other pressure cooker. Put the chicken carcass, carrot, celery, bay leaves, onion and salt into the instant pot. When I say chicken carcass, I mean everything. I put in the skin I took off from the chicken breasts, the juices from the container, stuff that came off while cutting the breasts – everything. I then used 2 of the 8 cups of hot water to wash the juices from the Costco chicken container into the instant pot. The remaining 6 cups, I put directly into the instant pot. Make sure the water covers most of the chicken. You want the chicken as submerged as possible. A few things poking up are OK.

For an instant pot or equivalent, cook on high pressure for 60 minutes. Use a natural release for the steam. Don’t rush it.

Scoop the chicken parts and veggies out of the pot and into the trash. Strain the broth with a fine mesh strainer to make sure you got most everything. There is no reason to keep anything but the broth, the flavors have left the veggies and the chicken.

The rule of thumb for broths is that you can save the broth in the fridge for a few days or freeze for up to 6 months. Note that the broth will become similar to Jello because of the gelatin from the chicken. This is normal and will return to liquid form upon heating.

If you want to remove the fat from the broth, you can refrigerate overnight. The fat will float to the top form a disc. Gently scoop it up and throw away.

(3) Making the Noodles

In a large bowl, stir the flour and salt together. Add the soft butter (melted is OK), milk and beaten egg. Knead the noodle dough for about 5 minutes. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

On a very lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/8 of an inch thickness. In the soup, the noodles will fluff to about double the thickness and add to the width. Using running a pizza cutter along a ruler, I cut the dough into strips of about 1/4 inch width and 2 inches in height. However, you can cut your noodles into the shapes you desire.

Separate the noodles and let them dry apart from each other for at least 1/2 hour. I let the noodles dry for about 30 minutes to an hour before adding them to the soup. My understanding is that the noodle texture can improve if they were let to dry for several hours, but I’m not that patient.

(4) Making the Soup

I cut two carrots into quarters along their length (half and half again) to make four sticks. I then cut them into about 1/4 inch slices. For the celery, I cut it in half and then cut them into about 1/8 inch slices. This gave me about the amount of carrots and celery that I needed. For the onion, I used some diced onion that I previously had frozen in the freezer.

My family doesn’t like onion as much, so this really helped lessen its physical presence while keeping the flavor. If you like onion, feel free to use that and/or use up to 3/4 of a cup instead of 1/8 of a cup for us. However, I don’t think it needs it.

Chop up about one and a half of the chicken breasts, that you saved from the chicken earlier, into cubes about 1/2 by 1/2 inch. My family thought that the soup had too much meat when we added both chicken breasts. Alter to your tastes.

Over medium heat, melt the butter in at least a four quart pot with a lid. In the melted butter, cook the carrot, celery and onion until they start to become tender, but remain a bit crunchy. This was about 5 minutes for me. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute while stirring.

After the garlic’s minute, add the chicken broth, noodles, and parsley to the veggies already in the pot. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to let the soup simmer for 20 minutes. After the twenty minutes of simmering, add the chicken and heat the soup until everything is heated throughout. For me, that was about 10 minutes.

Wrap Up

While this took about four hours for me to complete, there is quite a bit of wait time. This makes this soup easier than homemade pizza, crepes, or other things my family likes me to cook which require more effort.

Let me know if this worked for you, if you have some change that you think might make it better, or if something just didn’t click.