Saturday, December 17, 2011
Crock Pot Chicken Soup
Nearly every week Dennis and I go through the same routine when it comes to dinner. We stare blankly at each other, shrug, then default to burgers, pasta, etc. I usually get home around 7, then have to go pick Dennis up at 7:45. That doesn't leave us with a lot of time to prepare anything if we want to eat before 9. Once the weather started getting cooler and Dennis became less willing to grill outside in the freezing cold I decided to finally break out the crock pot that my mother-in-law had given us. After only a few instances of using it I can admit it - I'm in love.
There's really nothing easier than using a crock pot. We set ours on a timer so it turns on after we've left for work and keeps cooking until we get home. I was a little nervous about doing this the first time, but it works out great and I love coming home and smelling dinner cooking away.
This recipe was my first attempt at chicken soup in the crock pot. I cut up the vegetables the night before then plopped the chicken on top and put it all in the fridge. The next morning I put it in the slow cooker and had chicken soup waiting for me when I got home. I did run into a slight problem as the original recipe called for a slow cooker that's larger than what we have. I ended up not measuring how much water I added, making sure I covered the chicken while also leaving a bit of room at the top so it wouldn't overflow. This made enough soup for at least 4 servings so if you don't want leftovers you can cut the recipe in half. But the only thing better than using a crock pot for dinner one night is having leftovers from it for another night.
Chicken Noodle Soup (from Good Housekeeping)
8 cups water (or however much you can fit in your slow cooker)
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 medium stalks celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 small onion, chopped
2 bay leaves
.5 teaspoon(s) dried thyme
Ground black pepper
1 whole(s) (3 1/2-pound) chicken
2 cup(s) egg noodles, uncooked
In 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow-cooker bowl, combine water, carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Place whole chicken on top of vegetables. Cover slow cooker with lid and cook on low setting 8 to 10 hours or on high setting 4 to 5 hours.
Boil water for noodles, then cook noodles. I only cooked as much as we wanted for that night, then the next night I threw uncooked noodles in the broth as it warmed up. I think that's better than having the noodles sit in the broth for a day or more.
Transfer chicken to cutting board. Discard bay leaves and shred chicken. Once the noodles are cooked, ladle soup into bowls and add noodles and chicken.