Selecting Chicken for Soup
02.24.2020 Meat Tip Monday
We’ve officially reached that point in winter when the bitter wind is impossible to ignore and everyone around us seems to be sick. Fortunately, we have a solution to both of these problems: chicken noodle soup. Without a doubt, chicken noodle soup is the ultimate winter comfort food because it warms your bones, fills your tummy, and soothes your sore throat. Although, the key to a hearty chicken noodle soup is selecting the perfect chicken. Read our tips below on how to select the best chicken for homemade chicken noodle soup!
Opt for Fresh & Wholesome
The ideal chicken for homemade chicken noodle soup is a fresh 3 1/2-pound whole chicken that has been minimally processed. Once you’ve purchased your fresh chicken, cut it into parts and leave the skin on.
First, Make the Broth
To ensure a flavorful chicken noodle soup, make the broth first and then use that broth to make the soup.
- Simmer the cut chicken parts with your choice of and proportions of celery, carrots, onions, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves, parsnip (optional), and salt in a large pot. Add enough water to the pot to cover the chicken by 1 inch.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until the chicken is falling off the bones.
- Remove the chicken from the pot. If you would like the broth to become more concentrated in flavor, continue to simmer the broth for 20 minutes or so. Strain the broth through a fine sieve and discard the vegetables.
- Refrigerate the chicken and broth separately for at least 8 hours until the fat has risen to the top.
Then, Make the Soup
- Chop or shred the chicken meat into bite-sized pieces and reserve. Skim the chicken fat from the top of the broth and reserve.
- Add 3 tablespoons of reserved chicken fat to a large saucepan with an accompanying lid. Add chopped onions and sauté until translucent while stirring frequently. Add chopped carrots, sprinkle with salt, stir, and cover the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender but not browned.
- Pour the chicken broth into the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat and add the chicken pieces and cooked noodles until heated through.
- Serve your homemade chicken noodle soup!