Stoup for the Soul.

Man, oh man.  Will winter ever be over?

I don't know where y'all live, but I'm from the middle region of the U.S. and it's darn chilly 'round here.

And not letting up.  It's almost March, people.  Shouldn't there be some sort of reprieve?

It's not looking like it.

Ah well, what does that mean in this household?  More stoup!  Yes, this is what gets me through the bitter cold days, or slightly cold, or brisk, or slightly warm, or, well, let's just be honest- I eat stoup year round.

Really.  It's that satisfying.

Each week, I partake in a meal with a few dear friendses of mine.  We like to cook, eat, and talk.  It's a perfect trio, just as we three are.  If you don't know them you can do so here.  They are a lovely pair of ladies.  I rather like 'em.  You will too.

For this week's meal, I had the main dish (and dessert, that's coming in the next post- hold onto your hats, OH MY.  It's a bit dangerous).  I decided it's too darn cold outside to make anything but warm, brothy goodness.  We three have been a bit under-the-weather so a liquidy-yet-hearty meal was in store.

What did I have in mind?  None other than Chicken Noodle Stoup, of course.

Of course!  What else is there, I mean really.  That's right, nothing.  I mean, doesn't this beautiful bowl of brothy goodness just make your hiney tingle?:

Well, it does mine.

Let's dive in then.

Chicken Noodle Stoup
- One 4 lb package chicken leg quarters
- 4 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 4 large celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 to 2 yellow onions, diced
- 3/4 C chopped fresh parsley
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp flour
- Chicken buillon (I like Better Than Buillon brand)
- 12 oz package egg noodles (or make your own)
- 2-3 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1.5 tsp dried, ground sage
- Salt and pepper, to taste

- Place chicken quarters in large stockpot, fill pot with water until chicken pieces are fully covered and then some (about 1-2" water above chicken pieces).  Cook, covered, over med-high heat until chicken is tender and falling off the bone, about 1-1.5 hours.
- While chicken is cooking, chop vegetables and place in bowl/s.  Set aside.
- When chicken is fully cooked and tender, remove pot from burner.  Carefully, with tongs, remove chicken from pot and set onto a plate, put the broth in a separate pot/bowl--save the broth!.  Shred the chicken and discard bones/fat.  Once chicken is shredded, tend to the broth.  Skim any fat pieces from the broth and set aside.  Your stockpot should now be empty again.
- Place empty stockpot back on stove over medium heat.  Melt butter in pot.  Once melted, add chopped carrots, celery, & onion.  Saute 3-4 min.  Add flour and stir to coat.  Once flour is added, pour in 1 cup of the chicken broth, stir and allow to simmer 2-3 min.  Once flour is fully incorporated, add the rest of the chicken broth (or as much as you would like- if you want your stoup a little thicker, add less, if you like it more soupy, add more).  Add shredded chicken.
-Bring pot up to a light boil.  Add 6 Tbsp buillon paste.  If you are using buillon cubes, check the package to see how many to add.  I generally don't use cubes, so am not sure!  Allow the stoup to simmer a bit, stirring every so often, about 5-10 minutes.  Add noodles and cook until tender.  Finish off by adding the chopped parsley.  Dish up and serve!

Now, since I recently viewed the horrifying investigative documentary, Food Inc
 ( all should just watch it, really.  It's absolutely mind-boggling in a "what-the-heck?!" kind of way.  Just do it, you'll see what I mean).  I now purchase all free-range, grass-fed, local and/or organic meat.
Yes, it's more expensive but we cut back significantly in other areas in order to make room.
It's worth it, people.
Anyway- Gold n Plump is a good, safe brand.  
Don't do Tyson!  DON'T, I beg you.

I don't know why that picture ended up sideways. 
It irks me.  
But I'm over it.
Kind of.

Here are a few of the other choice ingredients:
I like Ronzoni Healthy Harvest pastas because they have whole grain varieties 
but I hear Ream's brand has a fabulous egg noodle.  
It's really up to you.

Your flavor friends:

Begin by filling your stockpot, 
covering the chicken with water (1-2" above the chicken).

Boil the chicken until tender.  While it's cooking, chop your veggies:

The French call this trio (celery, carrots, onion) mirepoix.  
It sounds so...French.  And romantic, 
doesn't it?
I think so.

Chop your parsley too and set aside.

Let the veggies hang out on the counter while you tend to your chicken.
Once your poultry is tender, shred it and discard bones/fat.  However,
pour you broth in a separate pot (be careful!  It's hot, people), and set aside.
You will need it.  Also set the shredded chicken aside.
There is a lot of "setting aside" in this recipe.  
The fellas like to hang out with each other, chat-it-up, be merry.  
It's a party, let 'em mingle.

While the other items are hanging out, 
go ahead and melt your butter in the emptied stockpot.

Add the mirepoix.
You learned a new word, therefore we must use it.
Saute a few minutes.

Then add your 3 Tbsp flour, stir to coat.

Once coated, add a cup or two of stock.  
Stir until flour is incorporated and there is no clumpage.
Clumpage is bad, very bad.

We aren't making dumplings here, people.  

Nope, actually we are creating a roux of sorts.
Another French word.  
Didn't realize you'd be taking language lessons today, did you?
A roux is simply a substance that thickens.  
It's generally composed of butter, flour, and a little liquid.

Once the flour is incorporated, add the rest of the broth, 
OR as much as you see fit.
If you want the stoup thinner, add more liquid.  
Thicker?  Add less.  
You make the call.

Once you've added your chosen amount,
turn on over to your chicken flavoring.

I love this stuff:

You can find it at your local organic foods store.  
However, if you want to use buillon cubes, that's fine too.
I just don't know how many are appropriate.  
Taste and learn, then tell me.
But chances are I'll keep using what I like, 
which is the above product.

Add 6 T buillon paste.

Bring the stoup to a light boil, stirring every so often.

Once boiling, go ahead and add your noodles, thyme, rosemary, and sage.

Cook until noodles are tender.  
Add salt and pepper accordingly.
Watch the salt, most buillons have a fair amount already.
Don't double-dose it.  
You can always add more but you can't take it away.

Lastly, add your chopped fresh parsley
 and take a big, fat sniff of this savory goodness:

Dish up a big bowl of stoup.  
Top with extra parsley and a bit of Parmesan cheese, if you like.

Sip.  Bite.  Chew.  Swallow.
Feel the warmth spread throughout.
It's mighty nice.


Alli said...

Another yummy sounding one!

Since you're using the chicken stock as your base, I was surprised to see that you add bullion, too. I usually make my soups without bullion if they have meat in them already, but if it's a major flavor booster, I might have to give it a try.

Abbie said...

Good point, Alli. You certainly don't have to use buillon, if you prefer. I like it because it adds more depth of flavor and chicken-ey goodness. But you are right- you can leave it out, definitely! :)

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