I love Fall! One of the reasons this is my favorite season is that I can simmer a pot of homemade soup on the stove. The house smells so good and the hot soup warms me up on the inside. It is the ultimate comfort food! Just about any kind of soup does that for me.
This Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup can be made using a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken or you can cook the chicken breasts right in the pot. The cooked chicken will be added into the soup at the end of the cooking time, so either way works.
To cook your own chicken, here’s how to do it so that the chicken will be tender and perfect. (Over-cooked, rubbery chicken will ruin even the best of soups.) This is how I learned to make perfectly cooked chicken. (These cooked chicken breasts can be used in any recipe, like chicken salad, enchiladas & casseroles too!)
For the soup, bring 8 c. of water to a boil in a big pot. Meanwhile, take 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and put them in a strong plastic bag. Use your rolling-pin to pound the chicken breasts so that they are an even thickness. About ¾” thick is best. There are two reasons why you should do this before cooking. First, the pounding of the meat tenderizes it and second, the meat will cook more evenly if the thickness is the same. (I’m sure you have noticed that most chicken breasts are thin on one end and thick on the other. If you cook it like that, the thinner end gets over-cooked while the thick part of the breast may be under-cooked.)
Once the water is boiling, carefully add in the chicken breasts. The water will stop boiling hard because the chicken will cool down the water for a minute or two when it goes in. Keep the heat on high and watch for the water to come back up to a boil. Then, cover the pot with a lid and turn OFF the heat! Do not remove the lid or peek for 20 minutes!
After 20 minutes, remove a chicken breast and test it by cutting into the center. If it’s done, the juices will run clear. If it’s not quite done, return it to the pot, cover it again and check it again in a minute or two. When done, remove the chicken to a platter and allow to it cool. When cool enough to handle, dice into 1/2″ pieces. (I like to make this ahead and keep it in the freezer for when I am pressed for time.)
And don’t even think about throwing away the cooking liquid. This is the perfect broth for making delicious soup!
Into the hot broth, (or if you will be using pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, just use 8 c. water) add:
2 ribs celery, diced
1/2 package whole baby carrots
1/2 medium onion, diced
4 – 5 t. chicken bouillon (or 4 – 5 cubes)
1 t. dried basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and allow to simmer about 10 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften. Add in 1/2 recipe of my Homemade Noodles (Or you can use 2 cups of packaged noodles if you need to save time.) Bring to a boil and cook for another 8-10 minutes until the noodles are done. Add in the cooked, diced chicken.
Get ready to live! This soup is incredibly delicious!