Tasty Tuesday! – Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

Hi there!

It’s Tasty Tuesday time! Whoop Whoop!

Tasty Tuesday Badge 2000x2000

As always, make sure you head over to Lena’s page to check out all the Tasty Tuesday yumminess as she’s the leader of this linkup party.  You never know what you’ll find over there. Maybe some Russian Meatballs or something like that. Bet you didn’t see THAT coming! 😉

I’ve had a lot of interest in my homemade chicken noodle soup so I thought I would share with you how I made it.

I mean, from what I understand, it’s supposed to be a cold winter in most areas and we’ve already had some major temperature fluctuations and everyone is either coughing, sneezing, or both!

Might as well have some of the good stuff handy to help cure what ails you. 🙂

And, you should also have hand sanitizer and Lysol. Lots and lots and lots of both. Since, you know, you can’t walk around in a bubble.

First things first (because, they wouldn’t be first if they came second!), this is not a quick 30-minute recipe. Sorry.

Those are out there and usually require store bought, or previously homemade, chicken broth.

In a way, the soup COULD be a 30 minute meal if you use chicken and broth that you’ve already made.

So, yes, it’s a 30 minute meal.

With about 15-18 hours worth of prep time.

All done in a crockpot so don’t freak out. It’s not like you’re standing in front of the stove for that long. Oh gosh, how awful would that be?

Anyhoo, the first thing you do is prep the chicken.


I usually buy a 4 pound organic chicken, rinse it and pat it dry, rub it with a paste made of olive oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, and cook on HIGH for about 5 hours. (You can do LOW just up the time to 8-10 hours.)

I learned a nifty trick from Lindsay at The Lean Green Bean – ball up 4 sheets of aluminum foil, put them in the crockpot, and set your chicken on top of it! They act as a rack, lifting the chicken off the bottom and allowing the air to circulate and the juices to drip freely off the bird without causing a soggy bottom.

Cuz no one likes a soggy bottom.

Once the bird is done, remove it from the crockpot, allow to cool, and start shredding!


Put all the meat in a container (you’ll have more than you need for soup so …. use some for chicken sandwiches, in salads, in BBQ sauce, etc!) and toss all the skin and bones back into the crockpot.

Um, remove the aluminum foil balls first. You’re done with those.

Throw in a roughly chopped onion, a few roughly chopped carrots (2-3 regular – you don’t even have to peel them!), a couple stalks of roughly chopped celery, some chopped garlic (3-5 cloves), a bay leaf, and fresh (or dried) herbs such as thyme, oregano, parsley, and marjoram. Then, pour about 8 cups of water into your crockpot (honestly, if you’re using a 6 quart, you could probably pour in 10 cups or so) or just to about an inch from the top.

Cover and cook on LOW 10-12 hours.

While you’re sleeping is an excellent time to do this.

Or, you could cook the chicken while you sleep, shred it when you wake up, then prep the broth and let it cook while you’re at work. Then you could totally make chicken soup when you get home!

Okay, so after the broth is done, strain it through a fine mesh sieve and discard the bones, skins, chopped veggies, etc.

Pour your broth into containers suitable from freezing/refrigerating.


I usually pour them out in one cup or two cup containers.

If you’re freezing the broth, make sure you don’t fill the container all the way full. You need to allow room for the broth to expand.

If you’re going right from the straining to the making of the chicken soup step, pour about 32 ounces of your freshly made broth into a large soup/stock pot.

Bring to a simmer.

Peel and chop a few carrots and some celery and throw those in there. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes. TASTE and adjust seasonings.

I like to add more oregano, marjoram, and thyme in addition to salt and pepper.

Tasting is hugely important because you don’t want overly salty soup.

Or at least I don’t want overly salty soup. Blech.

Then, add your noodles and cook about 5-8 minutes. Add in desired amount of previously shredded chicken and cook for about 5 minutes. This is just to finish cooking the pasta and heat the chicken up. You don’t want to overcook either.

If you prefer a creamier soup, you can add a tablespoon of butter and between 1/4 – 1/2 cup of heavy cream with the chicken.


If you’re making this from the “refrigerated broth” point, heat a small amount of butter in a large soup/stock pot.

Add about 1/4 cup chopped onion, your chopped carrots, and chopped celery. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add 2-3 cloves chopped garlic, if desired. Cook 1 minute.

Add broth and bring to a simmer.

Once at a simmer, follow the steps above for seasoning, adding pasta, chicken, and butter and cream, if desired.


Talk to me: Creamy or brothy? What’s your favorite pasta shape in chicken noodle soup?

Sunday Food Prep – what went down in my kitchen (9)

Hi there!

Is it just me or is anyone else disappointed that Monday actually made an appearance?



Oh well, I guess it’s a good thing it showed up otherwise we’d never see Friday, right? #brightside

So, I spent a little more time on my feet this weekend than I probably should have.

I really should have put myself in that stupid walking boot but I didn’t. I just kept popping Advil and taking “rest breaks.”


I’ll never learn.

Anyway, I got down to some serious business in the kitchen on Sunday!

I don’t know exactly what hit me but I was a food prepping FOOL yesterday.

And, it wasn’t even that cold out – 40-50s maybe (and yes, that’s cold but it sure beats the 20s!) – but I felt the need to build a fire so I did.

Most awesome fire ever! #madskills


Between the fireplace, my oven, and the kitties who kept occupying my lap every time I sat down, I was as toasty as a marshmallow. 🙂



So, the first thing I made was a loaf of bread.

I’ve mentioned before about tummy issues so I’ve decided to toss out gluten for a little bit and see what happens.

Don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not allergic and I definitely don’t have celiac but it’s worth a shot to see if maybe I have a gluten sensitivity.

I bought this Bob’s Red Mill gluten free whole grain bread mix and went from there. I made one last week and it made great toast that tasted amazing with smushed avocado on it. Mmmmmm


I actually bought some gluten free flour but, in order to make the bread rise, you have to substitute something “gluten-like.”

Like xantham gum.

Which, for one thing, I can’t even pronounce and, for another thing, is ridiculously expensive.

I’m not committing to it until I know. For now, I’ll spend $8 on a mix that has everything in it that I need, minus the eggs, fat, and cider vinegar. Yeah, I don’t get it either but it’s a small amount and the bread tastes great so….fine. Cider vinegar it is.

I also stocked up on quinoa so I made a nice big batch.


Had some for breakfast this morning – 1 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup milk, heat 60 seconds, add fruit. I also added some raw honey and almond butter because, duh, it’s raw honey and almond butter. 🙂

I snagged an organic chicken at the Harris Teeter and put that in the crockpot for about 5 hours.

I’ve made it before but this time, it literally fell apart when I took it out.


After I shredded it, which we’ll use for salads, sandwiches, quick meals, etc, I put all the bones and skin back into the crockpot, added some onion, carrot, celery, fresh thyme, some dried oregano, a bay leaf, and a bunch of water and I set it to LOW for 12 hours.

When I woke up this morning, I had homemade chicken broth that I portioned out into mason jars.

I had to come in to work early so I left them on the counter to cool and Thing 2 took care of freezing/refrigerating them for me.

I ran out of time to snap a picture but broth is broth and my counter pretty much looked like this, like last time. 🙂


Then, for dinner, I made Roni’s beef and sweet potato chili.


Holy. Yum.

I pretty much followed her recipe exactly except I added a teaspoon of some super-hot fire sauce I picked up a few weeks ago.



There are only 2 things I would do differently – I would definitely cut the sweet taters into smaller chunks (honestly, I left them pretty big) and I would definitely use a whole lot less spinach. Like half. Or, I might leave it out and substitute something else. Thing 2 wasn’t crazy about it and thing 2’s BF didn’t eat at all because he “doesn’t do sweet potatoes” or pumpkin.

Whatevs. More for me! Cuz, I thought the chili was amazeballs. 🙂

I also roasted some chickpeas but they didn’t turn out very picture worthy. I may or may not have been lulled into a brief nap by the warmth of the fire and a snuggly lap cat. They’re a little on the burnt side. #dontjudgeme

Talk to me: What’s on your menu for Thanksgiving? Are you going to food prep in advance?

– jennifer

Sunday Food Prep – what went down in my kitchen (7)

Hello, hello!

Happy Monday!

Do you have the day off today? Do you have any fun plans?

We might go see a movie.

2 movies in 2 weeks! Watch out! 🙂

So, let’s talk food prep.

I approached the food prep a little differently this week.

You see, tomorrow, Thing 2 gets her wisdom teeth extracted.

So, she’s not going to be eating too much food that requires chewing for a few days.

My sailor and I are going to tag-team the “staying home with her” responsibilities to make sure she’s okay – she’s never been on pain medication before so we don’t know how she’s going to do with it – and that she gets some fluids/nutrition in her.

Plus, we’ll need easy things to eat while we’re home. 🙂

My sailor is more of a “grab and go” kind of person while I don’t mind a little more assembly time with my meals. Plus, he can be a little more snack-y than me.

So, I made some homemade granola bars!


I found the recipe over at Amanda’s blog, Running with Spoons, and went with it because of the addition of protein powder.

My sailor and Thing 2 are funny about their granola bars – not me, I’ll eat a raw bar any day of the week! – and this seemed the closest to a Quaker chewy bar without all the extra added crap. Seriously, have you ever read the ingredients list?! It’s a mile long!!

I have organic whey protein powder that’s pretty delicious so I have no problems tossing it into a recipe.


I usually get this at Harris Teeter but I have found it at TJ Maxx before.

And guess what? The granola bars are almost the exact as a Quaker chewy. Only better.

So. Much. Better.

Then, per my norm, I roasted a chicken in the crockpot.


Thing 2 really, really wants Chicken Curry as her “last meal” so I needed some chicken for that.

*side note – there were 2 recipes my mom made when I was growing up that have become staples in my own house. One was chicken adobo and the other was chicken curry. And I just realized I’ve never shared that recipe with you!

The rest of the chicken will be perfect for lunches throughout the week – for those of us who will be able to chew. 😉

I had something else in mind when I roasted that chicken.

Homemade chicken broth.

I’ve never made it before and 1. it was high time I did! and 2. Thing 2 likes chicken broth and it doesn’t require chewing! This way, she’ll be able to get some protein and great nutrients into her while she’s limited with what she can eat.

So, after the chicken finished roasting and I got it all shredded, I threw the carcass and skin back into the crockpot, tossed in a coarsely chopped onion, roughly chopped celery stalk, some chunked up baby carrots, some garlic cloves, a couple of bay leaves, some dried (because I didn’t have fresh) rosemary, basil, and thyme, salt, and filled the crockpot almost to the brim with water.

Cooked it overnight on low – about 10 hours – and when I woke up, I had lovely, and DELICIOUS (what? you know I had to taste it.) chicken broth!


I loosely followed this recipe as a guide because I needed an idea of how to cook it in the crockpot. All my cookbook recipes were in pots on the stove and I didn’t feel like babysitting stock all night long.

This made 8 cups which I separated into 1 cup portions in mason jars.  4 are in the fridge and 4 are in the freezer for later. #winning

For dinner (and leftovers!) I made a big ole pot of Boston Baked Beans



and some cornbread.


Now, let’s talk about those beans.

Holy. Yum.

I’ve made baked beans before and these have got to be, hands down, the very best I have ever made.

The beans were perfectly cooked and the flavor was amazing.

Even Thing 2’s bf, who “doesn’t like baked beans,” liked them.

Of course, he’s only ever eaten them out of a can. There’s a big difference between homemade and from a can!

He’s eaten, and liked!, a lot of things I’ve made that he “doesn’t like” or “doesn’t eat.”

I think that’s probably the biggest compliment I could ever receive. 🙂

Talk to me: Did you food prep yesterday? Have you ever made homemade chicken broth/stock? Do you think food prep means I’m on my feet in the kitchen all day? 😉


– jennifer