Labor of Love: Best Chicken Soup Ever

It’s that time of year again: cold season.


I’ve been noticing more people sneezing, which is why sanitizer is my new BFF. Unfortunately, thanks to all the common surfaces in college – computers, desks, ice luges – no matter how hard we all try we are gonna catch a cold. Pretty much everybody does. Even if they can avoid the germy keyboards and doorknobs on campus, the change in weather usually has them sniffling before too long.

But I have the cure for what ails us all: the best chicken soup EVER. Don’t use that canned stuff; the time and effort to make this soup is totally worth it. It will fill you up and make you feel all warm and toasty inside, no matter how chilly and snowy it is outside.

What you’ll need:

A pretty big pot

1 whole chicken

2 onions

3 carrots

About 6 small red potatoes

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon basil

1 1/2 teaspoons cracked black pepper

Salt to taste

1 bag egg noodles

Time to Cook:

1. First, you better clean the chicken. If you’ve never been witness to this before, the stores don’t take all their, um, insides out before they sell it. So you have to pull out the gizzard and everything else. Once you get the chicken cleaned out from the inside, give it a good wash inside and out. Just rinse the bird a couple of times in cold water. If you want to take the skin off or trim the fat, feel free to, but I usually leave them on. It enhances the flavor.

2. Cut both onions into quarters. Stuff one onion inside the chicken and salt and pepper the inside also. While you’re at it, peel the carrots and cut them into good size chunks and set them off to the side. Go ahead and wash the potatoes too, and cut them into even sized chunks.

3. Take the pot and fill it 3/4 of the way with water. It needs to be big enough that the chicken can soak and the water can boil but not boil over.

4. Add the other onion, the carrots, and the potatoes to the water. Add the garlic, oregano, basil, and pepper to the water. Add a little salt, but not too much (you can add more later).

5. Add the bird (carefully!) and crank the stove to medium heat. Bring the soup to a boil and then turn the heat to low.

6. Here’s where the waiting comes in: it’s going to take roughly six hours for the soup to get nice and yummy. Every hour, flip the chicken over in the pot (carefully!) so that it cooks evenly. Around the sixth time you flip it, the chicken should begin to fall apart.

7. Once the chicken starts falling off the bone, take it out of the pot. Leave heat on low to keep soup warm. Debone the chicken, making sure to strip the meat carefully. Once you’ve finished that, set that juicy chicken aside.

8. Take some standard egg noodles and add them to your broth. Turn heat back up to medium. Cook them for roughly fifteen minutes, then add the chicken back to the pot. Once you add the chicken back to the pot, turn the heat off.

You can store this soup easily and reheat it on the stove or in the microwave. It’s awesome with saltine crackers or some nice buttery ones. It seems kind of intensive, but trust me, this soup beats any canned chicken noodle any day.

(Photo courtesy flickr via edestlin)

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