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Chicken Noodle Soup

1 large whole fryer
1 cup onions, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup minced parsley
4 cloves minced garlic
1 cup chopped carrots
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
4 quart bottled water
12 oz. broad egg noodles, cooked al dente, tossed with a little butter
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sliced onion rings
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced carrots
1/4 cup cream sherry
salt and pepper to taste
green onions for garnish

Wash the chicken thoroughly. Remove the giblets, scrub out the
internal cavity under cold running water, and scrape away anything
that doesn't look edible. But do not remove the chicken skin or
any of the fat. You need the skin to make a rich stock.

Next, take a crock pot and place the chicken and giblets into it.
Then drop in the cup diced onions, the 1/2 cup diced celery, the
1/2 cup minced parsley, the four cloves minced garlic, the cup
chopped carrots, the three bay leaves, the teaspoon poultry seasoning
and two quarts of the water. With a spoon, evenly distribute the
seasoning mixture around the chicken,turn the crock pot to high,
and cook for at least six hours (or better still, overnight).

When the chicken is tender, take a set of tongs or a strainer spoon,
remove it from the crock pot and set it on a platter to cool. At
this point, strain out all the seasoning vegetables from the stock,
place the stock into a metal bowl, and place the bowl into the
refrigerator or freezer until the chicken fat congeals (which should
take about 1 hour).

Meanwhile, pick the chicken off the bones and, with a sharp knife,
chop it into bite-sized pieces.

In a heavy 12-inch skillet, melt the butter and saute the sliced
onions, the mushrooms, and the carrots until they're tender. Add
the chopped chicken meat. Heat chicken and vegetables Over medium-low
heat for about 10 minutes.

While the chicken and vegetables are sauteing, remove the chicken
stock from the refrigerator, skim off all the fat, and place the
skimmed stock into a soup pot along with the remaining 2 quarts of
water. At this point, you should season the soup stock to taste
with salt and pepper.

Add in the sauteed chicken, mushrooms, onion rings, and diced
carrots, along with the sherry, the Tabasco. Bring to a boil, then
reduce the heat to low and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes.

To serve, ladle out heaping helpings of the piping hot soup into
bowls, garnish with a sprinkling of thinly sliced green onions,
and serve with crunchy saltines.

Note: If you don't have a crock pot, you can use a heavy, deep
stock pot instead. Just be sure you turn the fire down to a slow
simmer to cook the chicken and make the stock.

If you use the overnight cooking method, cook the chicken in the
stock about six hours, remove the chicken meat from the bones when
it's done, put the bones and the fat back into the stock, and
continue to cook the bones and fat overnight. This gives you the
most flavorful chicken soup of all!


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