Last weekend my dear Grandma Barbara passed away. She was one of those ladies a girl feels lucky to have in her life. Not because she was a brilliant scientist, won the Nobel Peace Prize, or invented electricity…or anything like that.
But because she was so wonderful to visit with, and chat with and tell stories to. She cared about every single part of my life. She could whip up the best made to order eggs and bacon breakfast this side of the Rocky Mountains. And, her homemade Raspberry Jam could make you down right weak in the knees, people. I’ve never tasted any better. I think she put Something Magical in it. Seriously.
She loved hugging my babies and hearing the details of their lives. She liked to tell us stories about growing up on a farm in the 1930s and 40s. Can you imagine how much things have changed during her lifetime!
Several months ago she and I were talking about Chicken Soup. She told me I would never believe how wonderful chicken soup tastes when made with a chicken fresh from the farm.
“Wow!” I said. “I just make mine with frozen chicken breasts.”
“Oh, no honey. Use a whole chicken. It’s the only way to make chicken soup. You’ll be able to tell a big difference.”
And so, last weekend while I was remembering all of the things I loved about her and thinking of how much I’ll miss her and counting my lucky stars that she was my Gram…
I made the soup.
And she was right.
It’s down right amazing when you use a whole chicken.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Time: 1 1/2 hours
Yield: 15 servings
Recipe adapted from My Dear Grandma Barbara
1 (5 pound) chicken
1 1/2 C celery
1 C chopped onion
1/2 t celery seed
1 t thyme, dried
1/2 t poultry seasoning
1/2 t rubbed sage
2 bay leaves
10 t bullion granules or 10 bullion cubes
water (about 20 cups or enough to cover the bird)
salt and pepper
1 (16 ounce) package Grandmas Frozen Noodles
2 C carrots, chopped
1. Get your self a nice bird, about 5 pounds in weight. Unwrap it over a large cookie sheet so the juices don’t run all over your counter.
2. Put the chicken in a large pot and add 1 1/2 cups chopped celery,
1 cup chopped onion,
1/2 teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/2 t rubbed sage, 2 bay leaves and 10 teaspoons bullion granules (or 10 bullion cubes).
3. Pour enough water into the pot so that the chicken is covered up, or almost cover up. Bring the water to a boil, reduce the heat to a strong simmer and let the chicken cook for about an hour. Turn the chicken over about half way through the cooking time.
4. When the chicken has been cooked through and is no longer pink in the center remove it to a pan and let it cool for several minutes. Then remove the skin from the chicken and gently the pull the meat from the bones.
Grandma’s Egg Noodles can be found in most large grocery stores. They are most often kept in the freezer section with the frozen dough.
5. Fill a large pot full of water and bring it to a boil.
6. Poke a few holes in the Egg Noodle package with a fork. Pop the package into the microwave and heat it for 1 minute.
7. Drop the noodles into the boiling water and allow them to cook through. Should only take about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles and set them aside. I often cook the noodles right in soup pot along with the broth. However, be warned that the broth will thicken up a bit and the noodles will get a bit gummy.
8. Add 2 cups chopped carrots
and the shredded chicken to the soup pot.
9. Bring the soup back up to a boil and let the carrots cook until fork tender. Should take about 10 minutes.
10. Add the cooked noodles to the soup and then, my friends. Taste it. Adjust the salt and pepper to your liking. You can even add more bullion if it is lacking in flavor at all. If it tastes a little bit strong, add a touch more water.
Serve and enjoy!