|Chicken Noodle Soup|
Now that we are a full month into autumn, I have noticed many of my food blogger colleagues have embraced the flavors of pumpkin. A quick look at my facebook news feed will reveal countless dishes that use the flavor. Me? I enjoy it. I can see the appeal and I even published my own pumpkin dish last year, but I am vehemently opposed to using canned pureé. My feeling is that if you're going to use pureé, make it fresh. Not sure how? My friend, Willow of Will Cook For Friends, wrote a beautiful demonstration a couple of years ago.
However, today I'm not here to discuss pumpkin. The change of seasons also brings a change of weather. In fact, you could also call this time of year the start of cold and flu season, so I present a comfort food classic from scratch and come full circle to close the month of October like I opened it: with a soup. I advise to leave the canned soup next to the canned pumpkin at the supermarket and make some ahead of time to freeze it so you have it when you need it. After all, do you really want to subject your body to all those un-natural chemicals in the can when your immune system is weak?
I poached my chicken using the method described on page 20 of the recipe guide of Top Chef University DVD set primarily because I didn't like the method Tyler Florence uses in his recipe I found on foodnetwork.com. I already had chicken stock on hand and I couldn't see using a whole chicken for 1 1/2 cup of shredded chicken meat.
2 quarts chicken stock
5 chicken thighs, skins removed
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch-thick slices
2 celery ribs, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
8 ounces dried wide egg noodles (I used mini farfalle)
1 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1. Poach the chicken: In a large stock pot (I used my 5-quart Dutch oven), combine the chicken thighs and chicken stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat, approximately 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove the chicken from the stock with a wooden spoon and shred into bite size pieces once cool enough to handle. Reserve both the stock and chicken, but set aside.
2. Finish the dish: In a separate stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the mirepoix components along with the bay leaf, garlic and thyme and sweat for approximately 6 minutes. Stir in the reserved chicken stock and raise heat to boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the egg noodles and cook until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Fold in the reserved chicken, and continue to cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, then spoon into warmed bowls, and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve immediately.
Mrs. Stuntman fell asleep early the evening I prepared it, but brown bagged some leftovers the next day. She texted me during her lunch break to tell me how much she enjoyed it. On a side note, I re-injured the same toe I referred to in August but hope to be back with you soon. In the meantime, Happy Halloween!