I’ve been busy with house and work related stuff lately. I’m absolutely over it too. I’ve been wanting to find a window to come back to my blog and add more entries. Tonight I found a window.
Chicken soup. Everybody knows this one, if not how to make it from scratch, definitely how to beg for it when under the weather. I don’t even know why that is, why people crave this soup when sick…. maybe this is a cultural thing, maybe in other countries they crave eel soup, I don’t know, but it does make me feel better after a crappy night of fever and coughing, specially if paired with old reruns of the first 3 die hard movies. Luckily this time, I’m making it for no medical reasons but because I just posted about making chicken stock from scratch the other day and I wanted to use my leftover stock and enjoy a simple bowl of noodle soup. There are probably more recipes of this soup than of any other dish out there, so let me just add one more… great… just what everybody needed, another chicken soup recipe. Bare with me people! It won’t be too boring hopefully… and I promise to be quick-ish.
Six key ingredients to a successful chicken noodle soup (in my opinion of course):
1. healthy chicken meat.
2. great chicken stock.
3. fresh veggies.
4. great noodles.
5. beautiful soft boiled eggs. (or poached, i like them raw barely cooked in the broth)
6. great flavoring and seasoning!
A little on mung bean starch noodles:
These noodles are also known as cellophane noodles or glass noodles and they are of cantonese origin. Their flavor is very neutral thus not adding to or changing the flavor of the stock much if at all. Which isn’t the purpose of using them (at least not mine here) but a good thing to note I guess. They are very different in texture from wheat noodles or rice noodles. They are more gummy like, kinda more fun to eat actually. I like my chicken noodle soup playful if possible. They cook in about 4-5 mins but check for doneness a couple of times in the process to make sure you don’t overcook them. I used the saifun brand which are made in taiwan.
Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
2 Boneless chicken breasts (I prefer dark meat bone-in though)
4 cups of chicken stock. Homemade stock will change your life.
1 carrot, medium dice
1/2 white onion medium dice
1 celery stalk medium dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
250g of noodles (I used mung bean noodles)
2 Thyme sprigs
S+P to taste, or dark soy sauce and sriracha (which would be my preference)
Finely chopped parsley to taste, more to garnish
4 soft boiled eggs.
1 Tbsp of Extra virgin olive oil
Quite simple. Let’s assume that you already made your chicken stock from scratch like the fearless do. You might even have some leftover chicken you could totally use with this recipe. Store bought chicken stock can be salty, there are some brands that are low in sodium… that would be my recommendation if you can’t resist the temptation brought about by the flashy labels and the idea of modern convenience. I won’t tell anyone.
Cut the chicken breast in half crosswise, we want 4 similar portions. In a stock pot. Heat up the olive oil. Sweat the veggies with a little salt. If you want a bit of sear on the chicken breasts you could do this in a different pan on high heat. A quick sear and off the pan. They don’t need to be cooked throughly yet. They’ll finish in the simmering broth later on.
Now the veggies should be translucent. Add the chicken stock to the pot and bring to a simmer. Adjust seasoning and the herbs now. Add the thyme sprig and taste for saltiness. Add more salt if needed. We’re not gonna reduce this broth, this is it, we just want the veggies a little softer. This might take about 7-10 minutes. You can cover the pot or add a little water to compensate. I’d cover the pan.
In the meantime, let’s get the eggs ready. Bring water to a simmer in a pot. Lower the eggs gently into the pot. Cook for about 5-7 minutes. Runny yolks at 5, creamy yolks at 7. Remove eggs from the pot and run cold tap water over them for about 30 secs. Let them rest while you finish everything else.
Add the chicken breasts and the noodles to the simmering broth. Some noodles cook faster than others. If the noodles you are using cook super fast, allow the chicken a head start then. Whatever you do, don’t undercook the chicken. And it is wonderful when a chicken breast isn’t overcooked. It holds all that moisture and tenderness. Not stringy and dry like most chicken breasts that have been tortured with by boiling water for too long. I did overcook mines a bit this time…. shame on me. I’ll try to be more careful next time!
Cook the noodles until they are soft but still retain some bite. I don’t like mushy noodles but some people do. Ask the convalescent person for their preference. You might be surprised.. “I like mine raw” some might say. Hope not the case, but is not unheard of.
Plate and garnish in soup bowls with some parsley and olive oil. Peel the eggs and add them to the bowl. Slice open with a sharp knife or let it be a surprise. More fun this way. Enjoy!!!