"Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have to help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food." - HippocratesWhen Hippocrates wrote this quote, I'm not sure chicken noodle soup is what he had in mind . . . but when I get sick, it is my medicine of choice. I think canned chicken noodle soup is so gross - but fortunately, this version is easy and really tasty. I planned to make the full amount of stock, then half the soup (since I was pretty much only consuming the stock for 2 days) - but I went a little overboard with noodles (using up the rest of a package).
If you're not sick, just in need of a good bowl of soup - I recommend using the optional cream and Parmesan - it really adds a lot. However, if you've got the flu, it's best to skip the optional ingredients. Although it really stinks to be sick, I'm thankful for finding a chicken soup recipe that tastes good, whether you need it for medicine or just for supper.
The Lady's Chicken Noodle Soup
1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) fryer chicken, cut up - OR - 2 to 3 pounds chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs, breasts)
3 1/2 quarts water
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon lemon-pepper seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 bay leaves
3 chicken bouillon cubes (optional - but use lots of salt if you omit)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups sliced carrots (I used baby carrots)
2 cups sliced celery
2 1/2 cups uncooked egg noodles
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/3 cup cooking sherry
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup grated Parmesan, optional
3/4 cup heavy cream, optional
Freshly ground black pepper
Crusty French bread, for serving
For the stock: add all ingredients to a soup pot. Cook until chicken is tender, about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool. Remove and discard bay leaves and onion. You should have approximately 3 quarts of stock. When chicken is cool enough to touch, pick bones clean, discarding bones, skin, and cartilage. Set chicken aside.
For the soup: bring stock back to a boil, add carrots, and cook for 3 minutes. Add celery and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Add egg noodles and cook according to directions on package. When noodles are done, add chicken, mushrooms, parsley, sherry and rosemary. Add Parmesan and cream, if using. Cook for another 2 minutes. Adjust seasoning, if needed, by adding salt and pepper. Enjoy along with a nice hot crusty loaf of French bread.
P.S. I'm trying to rehabilitate the poor little rosemary plant I'd been neglecting this fall: