Thursday, September 20, 2012

Food: Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup

You are in for a 2.5-er today! I am going to post one MAIN recipe, but in doing that, I'm going to have to give you a few more. So bonus for you!

My oldest son had been begging for chicken noodle soup for weeks. Not only did the weather not necessarily call for soup, but I hadn't roasted a chicken yet to make the soup. So when it started getting cooler, I decided it was time for some soup. 

First thing's first, I needed to roast a chicken. Nothing is better than getting a whole chicken from the store and making a few meals out of it. And that's exactly what I did. Here's my recipe for....

Crockpot Chicken Roast

  • Small whole chicken, washed, insides removed, and patted dry
  • Chicken Roast Rub {scroll to the bottom of my Chicken Pot Pie recipe for the rub ingredients}
  • 2 Tbsp of butter 
  • Water
  • Optional: 2-3 carrots, diced; 2 celery stalks, chopped; 1 medium onion, chopped
  1. Spray your crockpot with cooking spray. 
  2. Soften the butter, but do not melt. Mix in about a Tbsp or so of the Chicken Roast Rub. 
  3. With your hands, rub down the chicken with the herbed butter mixture, making sure you get between the skin and the meat and the inside of the chicken. 
  4. At this point, you can stuff the inside of the chicken with the carrots, celery, and onion, if you would like, and if you want to add more of the Chicken Roast Rub, it's up to you. I normally do, but we really like an "herby" chicken in my house. 
  5. NOW, there are two methods you can use in the crockpot: 
    1. Ball up foil into 2 or 3 inch balls and place on the bottom of the crockpot. Place the chicken on top, cover, and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-6, or until the chicken is done. {This method makes the chicken more of a "rotisserie" chicken}...OR...
    2. Place chicken on the bottom of the crockpot, cover, and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-6, or until the chicken is done. 
    3. WITH BOTH, you can {again, this is optional} take the lid off at the end of your cooking time, and place the chicken, still in the crock, under a broiler until the skin begins to get crispy. 
    4. DO NOT THROW OUT THE CHICKEN JUICES COLLECTED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE CROCKPOT. This makes incredible chicken broth, and you will need it for soups. 
So... you eat a delicious meal, but you have quite a bit of chicken leftover? Pull it all from the bones and set aside for later. BUT put those bones back in the crockpot, cover with water, and let cook ON LOW for 8-12 hours {generally overnight}. You are going to have a TON of broth. Freeze for later, or you can use it to make Chicken Noodle Soup. 

Here it is, the recipe of the hour....

Chicken Noodle Soup
  • At least 2 cups of chicken meat
  • 4-5 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp Chicken Roast Rub
  • 1 Tbsp Salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • Chicken broth, enough to fill the crock {use the broth you made, either with the roast or with the leftover bones...or BOTH}
  • 1/2 pound of noodles {I wouldn't recommend wheat noodles. Everytime I tried it, they turned out mushy}
  1. Put all ingredients, except the noodles, in the crockpot. Make sure the broth goes pretty much to the top of the crockpot. 
  2. Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 4-6 hours.
  3. About an hour before you are ready, taste the soup. Add more salt or pepper, if needed. 
  4. About 30 before serving, add the noodles. This may take the broth to the TOP of the crockpot, but the noodles will absorb some of the liquid. 
  5. ....meanwhile, make some Made from "Scratch" Corn Bread Muffins and brew some fresh sweet tea. 
  6. The soup is done when the noodles are ready. 
And that's it! It's amazing what you can do with one small, whole chicken, but making soup is definitely top of my list when the weather is cooler. I hope you try this and enjoy! :o} 

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