January, hits you fast after the Holidays, there is sometimes an emptiness after all of the celebrating and holiday festivities. When life slows down a bit, back into a steady pace, with an unexpected stay in the hospital or the cold or flu you have been fighting since Thanksgiving finally get its grip on you. There is nothing better for a mental and physical cure than the foods you remember from your childhood. Comfort Food.
Grandma Cooper’s Chicken Noodle Soup
Nothing made me feel warm and cared for more than Grandma Cooper’s chicken soup, made by my Mom or my Grandmother or my Aunt; it was always a comfort and during a recent bout of illness I though how wonderful it would be to have a nice bowl in front of me.
- 1 chicken, 3 to 3 1/2 pounds, cut up
- 1 stalk celery, with leaves, cut into chunks
- 2 large carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 yellow onions, peeled and halved
- 1 dozen large sprigs parsley
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 2 bay Leaves
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 large carrots, cut into smaller pieces
- egg noodles fresh or packaged
Place the chicken, celery, carrots, onions, parsley, peppercorns, bay leaves and salt in a large soup pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Bring to a boil over high heat, then immediately reduce the heat to very low.
Adjust the heat until the soup is “smiling”: barely moving on the surface, with an occasional bubble breaking through. Cook uncovered, until the chicken is very tender and falling off the bone, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
When cool enough to handle, use tongs to transfer chicken from the pot to a container. Taste the broth and continue to simmer it until it is concentrated and tasty.
Strain broth through a fine sieve (or a colander lined with cheesecloth) into a separate container.
Discard all the solids from the strainer
When ready to finish the soup, use your fingers to separate chicken breast meat from bones and skin. Discard bones and skin.
Use two forks to pull the breast meat apart into soft chunks, or use a knife and cut into bite-size pieces.
Add carrots to broth, sprinkle with salt, stir, and cover the pot. Cook until vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes more, and heat to a simmer.
Add noodles and simmer until heated.
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