homemade chicken stock & chicken noodle soup

Or, another installment of “24 Going on 75.”

I know I shouldn’t complain about how long my break is but I reallyyyy don’t know how to handle idle time. I’ve been doing a lot of sewing, including these flannel Ikat pajama pants that I’m now living in because I don’t leave the house.

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I’m trying to find things that are time consuming and that I can trick myself into believing are productive. Hence, 1) roast chicken 2) make stock 3) eat soup.

My steps here have no logic in terms of being a real life chef. In fact, someone who makes stock professionally like, say, Ina Garten, might laugh at my stock and maybe even refer to it as “low quality.”

Ballsy.

My method is purely what was convenient. Take it or leave it.

Homemade Chicken Stock

1 chicken carcass (mine was a little over 5 lbs)

2 onions, halved and peeled

3 carrots, chopped into thirds

4 celery stalks, chopped into thirds

1 small head garlic, halved

8-10 sprigs fresh thyme

2 bay leaves

Parmesan rind

3 liters (about 12 cups) cold water

Step one: Purchase a whole chicken, about 5 lbs. Remove the giblets, gag, and pat the chicken dry. Season generously with salt and pepper, then rub with olive oil. Bake at 425 degrees for about 80-90 minutes. The chicken is done when you cut between the leg and the breast and the juices run clear. Roasting the chicken is my favorite part, it makes your house smell like something that should definitely be sold in candle form.

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Step two: Eat the chicken. Yuuuum. Don’t eat too much though, you want to save some for soup. Remove the remaining chicken from the bones. You don’t have to go crazy here, at least I didn’t. Some scraps and skin can stay on there. Refrigerate the chicken bones overnight.

Step three: Throw the carcass into a crock pot. That sounded so violent, didn’t it? My apologies. Let your onions, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, and Parmesan rind join the party. If you don’t have a Parmesan rind it probably isn’t a big deal, but I did and my girl Rach (ael Ray) is always saying to save them for soups. Pour cold water over everything and cook on low for 7 hours.

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**You can definitely (I think?) do this on the stove. I had to teach a noon Body Pump class and figured I shouldn’t leave our gas burners going when no one was home. This is the only reason I used the crock pot. Additionally, my water measurement is meaningless aside from that was what I could fit in my crock pot before it would runneth over. Using more or less water will just make the stock more or less strong in flavor.

Step four: Use tongs to remove all the vegetables, bones, thyme- anything you can easily pull out. Throw all that stuff away. Thanks for playing! Use a fine mesh strainer to get the rest of it out- I poured my stock through the strainer twice just to be sure I didn’t have a stray garlic clove hanging out in there. I’m pretty sure I’m the only person who would consider that a prize in my soup.

Step five: Let the stock cool. This way if it’s super fatty on the top (mine wasn’t) you can skim some of that off. Or leave it in, up to you.

This is where I turned it into classic chicken noodle soup. I just chopped up some carrots, celery, and onion. I added it to the stock with the leftover roast chicken, along with some oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. I cooked little shell pasta separately because I don’t like when it gets really soggy in the broth, and poured the soup over it.

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And over 24 hours later, there I had a nice steaming bowl of homemade soup. You might be thinking “Cool, I’m bored and I could get the same thing with a can and a microwave in about 4 and a half minutes.”

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But you would be wrong, my invisible friend. And not just because the canned soup uses egg noodles.

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