Thursday, January 23, 2014

Grandma's Chicken soup- A can't-beat classic


A few weeks after I brought home my first baby in November of 2009, I started to find myself sinking into the winter/postpartum blues a little. It was very gray outside, it was my first experience staying home full time so I was a little lonely, and to top it off my baby had a bad bout of colic. The days were fun with my new little one, but I would dread the nights as I knew they would bring lots of screaming from baby, and little to no rest for me.  It was pretty hard on my spirit and over time I found myself tired and unenthusiastic about things.
My Grandma and I have always been close, and she could sense something had changed about me. One evening she stopped by to visit, and I couldn't even answer the door because I didn't want to talk to anyone and I felt I wasn't keeping up with my home and looking the way I should. This was the day I realized I had to snap out of it. I couldn't even answer the door to my sweet Grandma? Isn't it silly how we feel like we have to be so perfect at all times....
Grandma called the next day, and offered to bring dinner. I was excited to have the evening off, and knew my husband would be gone to night class so I looked forward to having her and my Grandpa over to visit.
When Grandma walked in, She was holding her famous Peach Pie, and her delicious Chicken soup. Its different than any other chicken soup I have ever had, and I have to say it is one of the best old fashioned simple but so full of flavor dishes to exist.
Grandma always made this meal for me as a child. Mostly on a special date or when I got invited for a sleepover. As I enjoyed the delicious meal, I was instantly filled with comfort because I felt her love for me through the food she had made. She wasn't there to see if I had showered and done my hair, or cleaned my dishes or had all of the laundry folded. She was there to show me she cared about me. I believe sharing homemade food with others is a wonderful way to express love and bring people together.
Now, one of my favorite things about Grandma is, she is NOT afraid of heavy cream, butter, whole milk or using fat in her cooking. It's what makes her dishes taste so amazing, and turns them into instant comfort food. I feel as long as we eat heavier meals in limitation, there is nothing wrong with a little extra butter. Good for the spirit right? Glad we agree on that.
Here is one of my favorite old school recipes, perfect for a rainy day or to share with someone not feeling quite their self. Hope you love and enjoy it the way I have. Happy cooking!
1 tablespoon of butter
2 chicken breasts, skin on and bone in (this is a MUST to get the best flavor)
5 cups of water
2 heaping teaspoons of "better than bouillon chicken base" or 3 Chicken bouillon crystals if that's what you have.
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 teaspoon ground thyme
3/4 cup chopped carrots
3/4 cup chopped celery

1 batch of Homemade egg noodles or 1 1/2 cups of your favorite egg noodles.
(Homemade egg noodles are so yummy, they cook up thick and chewy almost like having a little dumpling in your soup... so tasty!)

In a large pot on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of butter. When butter is melted and pan is hot, add two chicken breasts and brown on both sides. Sprinkle with garlic powder, and onion powder.

Once chicken is browned, add 5 cups of water and chicken base or crystals. Add thyme and salt.
Stir and cover. Let simmer for just over an hour until chicken is tender and easy to shred.
Remove chicken from broth and let cool on cutting board. Strain broth into a bowl to remove any loose fat from chicken. Return broth to pan. You will notice that a lot of your water has evaporated through boiling the chicken. I usually add 3-4 cups of water back into my chicken broth to ensure that I have plenty of broth once soup is filled with chicken, veggies, and noodles.
You will need to add salt back into the broth as well. Try 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you get the flavor you want.
While chicken is cooling, make a quick batch of homemade noodles. (They are fast and easy!)
Bring broth up to a boil, and add noodles. Let boil for 15 minutes.
Add chicken back to pot, along with carrots and celery. Reduce heat and let simmer for another 15-20 minutes or until carrots test tender. Because the egg noodles are floured, they thicken the soup a bit. If you would like it even thicker, add a little cornstarch to boiling broth.
Serve with delicious homemade French Bread and you will think you have died and gone to comfort food heaven :)
Note: For GLUTEN FREE version, omit homemade egg noodles and add your own gluten free noodles. Chicken base is gluten free. Soup with cornstarch if desired.


1 comment:

  1. Em, I just adore you. I couldn't agree more with everything you said in this post, including the part about indulging in the yummy stuff!!!


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