Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup “Sopa de Pollo”
3 liters chicken stock or store bought Recipe to follow
1 whole fryer Chicken plus 2 extra breasts or whole fryer cut up
3 large leeks with greens rough chop and cleaned very well
2 pounds packaged baby carrots
6-7 ribs of celery rough chop
5-6 cloves of pressed garlic or powder to taste
1 large bunch chopped cilantro
4 sprigs fresh thyme or dried leaves to taste
1 half package egg noodles
Jalapeno pepper chopped for sprinkling on individual bowls
Chopped cilantro for sprinkling on individual bowls
Salt and cracked pepper to taste
I use 1 pound each of gizzards and livers also when I can get some good ones from a farm. This is optional but the livers and gizzards add a lot flavor. The gizzards will be ultra tender.
For the stock
4-5 pounds chicken wing parts, necks, backs ETC
2 celery ribs
3 large carrots
4 large sprigs fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic
2 large white or yellow onions quartered or 3 large leeks rough chop
In a large stockpot combine all the stock ingredients with enough water to cover. Bring to a light simmer and let simmer for 2-6 hours replaces water as it cooks off. The longer this simmers the more flavor it will have. I find homemade stock makes the soup richer in flavor. When the stock is done drain it first through a colander into another large stockpot or container. Press down on the mixture to force all the liquid out of the vegetables. For a clearer stock, pour the stock again through a colander lined with cheesecloth. I don’t find this necessary but you are welcome to. Refrigerate the stock overnight to solidify the fat on top. Scrape the fat off the top and discard. Store the stock in mason jars or containers that can be filled and frozen if necessary. The stock will have a jelly like consistency.
For the soup:
Cut up your whole fryer and add all parts including the two extra breasts to a large stock pot. Cover with cold water. Add thyme, garlic and salt & pepper. Bring to a medium boil until chicken is cooked (about an hour). Remove chicken and backbone to let cool. Allow the liquid to continue to simmer lightly while the chicken cools. When cool enough to handle, pick all the meat of the bones with your fingers discarding any fat. Put all the bones back in the pot with the liquid and let cook for another hour or two before you add the chicken back. You may skip this but I think there is still a lot of flavor left in the bones.
Remove the bones and add all of your picked chicken meat along with your chopped leeks, celery and chicken stock. Bring back up to a light boil. When you have achieved a light boil add carrots and chopped cilantro with the heat remaining high. When you have achieved a light boil let cook until the carrots are cooked but not mushy, you may need to add water as well as more salt and pepper during this process. When the carrots are almost cooked add your egg noodles. When the noodles are cooked your soup is done. Ladle into bowls with fresh jalapeno and chopped cilantro on top. This is definitely soup for the soul.
This is a very time consuming version of chicken soup but the finished soup is rich, gratifying and leaves you wanting more. Experienced cooks will take this and make variations to simplify this and make it their own. This makes a shit load of soup, so share it with your friends as I do.
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