What do you do when you don’t have traditional egg noodles, but you’re craving Chicken Noodle soup? You throw in Spaetzle, “farmer style” egg pasta. Or buy some at any grocery store.
It’s so worth it.
I think I wolfed down my bowl in under five minutes. That good. That simple.
I made it for my children, but those little stinkers didn’t even try it. That’s ok, that’s what mason jars are for…
I only make chicken noodle soup when I have a leftover roasted chicken and I’m feeling a bit like Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Mom, (Caroline). When you use every bit of something after it’s main purpose is gone, you kind of feel like you’ve stepped into the real world of using what you have, as a cook. And it costs very little.
New Year’s has a lot to do with that. I love that we get the do-over each year. We need it.
So here’s what I do…
- Fill a large soup pot about half way with water
- Add the chicken carcass. Just put in it there. All of it. The water should cover at least half the chicken.
- Throw in some roughly chopped carrots (2), celery (1) and onion (quartered). You’ll toss this out later…just adds flavor to the broth.
- The spices: whole peppercorns, two bay leaves, a pinch of thyme (I only had ground thyme), sea salt.
- Bring everything to a boil. Let it boil for about five minutes before simmering with lid partial on. Simmer for about an hour. Already smells good. 🙂
- Remove the chicken as much as you can into a large bowl and let it cool. Drain the soup with a mesh colander to catch the veggies and bits and pieces of chicken.
- When the chicken is cool enough to touch, start separating the good stuff from the bad stuff. You should have about two cups of cooked chicken.
Finally, the SPAETZLE…!
- Return the broth to the pot, add new carrots, celery. I keep it simple, but you might like to add onion or another veggie.
- Bring to boil again and then simmer again for about fifteen minutes.
- Add chicken, couple dashes of fresh pepper and sea salt.
- Then, finally, toss in about a cup of spaetzle. It needs to cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it rest for five minutes.
The texture of the spaetzle feels homemade. I love how it tastes, too, but especially how it’s a little thicker than thin strips of egg noodles I’ve used in the past. Spaetzle wraps around the chicken and broth like a big bear hug.
Comforts the soul. And your appetite.