Bone-In Chicken Noodle Soup and a Giveaway

Anyone can cook.

Bone-in Chicken Noodle Soup | EmmaEats


The temperatures have been a little colder, G’s hours have been a little longer and extra-curricular activities have been keeping the girls busier than usual. All of these factors together have made us committed to our Friday family movie night more than ever.

A short while ago, we watched Ratatouille. Around the same time, Thomas Allen & Sons (@ThomasAllenLTD) provided me a copy of Mark Bittman’s book How to Cook Everything Fast. As I casually flipped through it, a few things struck me. Even without any food photographs, this cooking tome is incredibly easy to follow. The recipes are written in a way that truly describes how to work in your kitchen rather than just focusing on preparing food. By identifying and highlighting tasks you can complete while things heat up, brown, simmer and cook, the instructions help novice cooks make efficient use of their time, allowing them to multi-task the way confident cooks do in their kitchens. It also helps cooks make dishes their own rather than striving for what the photographer designed the final image to be.

After a more in-depth analysis, I was certain. Mark Bittman is a real-life Auguste Gusteau. With this new book, he’s telling us that anyone can cook good food, well, and relatively quickly. Filled with 2000+ recipes and countless techniques and tips, How to Cook Everything Fast is a reference worthy for someone new to their kitchen as it is for the seasoned cook.

I found a dozen recipes I was ready to make on my first flip through the book, but I kept coming back to something simple – pure comfort for these cold, dreary days – the Bone-In Chicken Noodle Soup. For years, my own father made a scratch chicken soup for our family. It was his Sunday ritual that started in the wee hours and continued through the morning. He fussed with it just the right amount to keep him in the kitchen as we all started to stir and eventually arrive for breakfast. He’d first skim anything deemed unworthy from the top of the broth as the chicken cooked, then painstakingly prepared the fresh herbs and vegetables, all to be added at just the right intervals so they wouldn’t be overcooked. By lunchtime, he would deliver the fruits of his efforts: a soup filled with comfort, love and healing power.

Until now, if we wanted chicken soup quickly, I either used prepared stock or packaged soups. No more! Exerting only a fraction of my dad’s painstaking effort, the soup turned out wonderfully. It took me closer to 45 minutes rather than the 30 minutes the recipe estimates but it is worth the effort, even on a weeknight. The recipe provides 4 easy variations on the recipe to fit a variety of tastes.

My own adaptations were few – I halved the recipe (when I made it originally, it took us over 3 days to finish it), in place of the chopped onions I used 2 large shallots, which I left whole since the girls didn’t like small pieces of onion floating in their soup, I skipped the celery, added parsley and peas and cooked the noodles separately assuming we’d end up with leftovers. Since trying this soup the first time, we’ve had it weekly. With a salad or with some hearty fresh bread, it makes a wonderful quick dinner. The leftover chicken pieces are delicious in pasta or sandwiches for fast lunches during the week.

My dad would be so pleased.

Update: February 11, 2015: the contest is now closed. [My lucky Canadian readers have an opportunity to win a copy of How to Cook Everything Fast.]


Bone-In Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
 adapted from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Fast

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 3 chicken drumsticks
  • a few pinches of kosher salt
  • a few pinches of black pepper
  • 2 large shallots
  • 3 large carrots
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 cups of water
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a handful of sprigs of fresh parsley
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 1/2 cups of your favourite small cut pasta

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel. Brown the chicken in the pot, skin side down for 5 or 6 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while the chicken browns. While the chicken browns, trim and peel the shallots, carrots and garlic. Cut carrots into 1/2-inch sticks. Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife. Wash and pat the parsley stalks dry. Use a single parsley stalk to tie together the rest of the bundle. Add the vegetables and garlic to the pot. Add 5 cups of water and stir to scrape the chicken from the bottom of the pot. Add the bay leaves, another good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil. Once the soup comes to a boil, reduce the heat allowing it to bubble gently. Add the parsley bundle. Cover and continue to simmer until the meat is cooked completely and starts to loosen from the bone, 20-25 minutes. While the soup is cooking, prepare the noodles according to the package instructions. Five minutes before serving, add the peas and let them cook through.  Before serving, remove the parsley leaves, if desired. Spoon noodles into the bowls and serve with the soup.

Disclosure: I received a copy of How to Cook Everything Fast from Thomas Allen & Sons, Ltd for review purposes. This in no way affected my opinion; all opinions expressed are my own. I received no monetary compensation for writing this post.

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