Some consider chicken soup a winter meal, especially if one has a cold. Luckily, I don't have this association, and, due to the fact that at my favourite farm fresh chickens are cut some time in mid summer, that's when I have the opportunity to prepare my best chicken noodles. Chicken is certainly fresh-not-frozen and organic, and noodles are homemade by yours truly.
This soup is so good that I don't have enough epithets to describe it. I have only one - heavenly, that's it. Just cook it and see for yourself.
What you need for the broth:
1/2 Fresh organic chicken (preferably free range), cut in a few pieces
2 whole medium yellow onions
2-3 medium stalks celery
3-4 whole cloves garlic
Whole black pepper (10-15)
Small bunch of dill
Bay leaf (optional)
The method of making consomme quality broth was showed to me by one of my Jewish friends, since then we call it Jewish method. It requires some additional time and effort, but is well worth it. So barely cover rinsed chicken parts with filtered water and bring to boil on medium heat.
When water starts boiling and you see a lot of foam, take the sauce pan off the heat and dump all this "dirty" water in your kitchen sink, clean sauce pan of the remaining grime, rinse chicken thoroughly with cold water, place it back into the sauce pan, generously cover with cold filtered water, and put back on medium heat. Skim while the water begins boiling, until no foam goes out of the meat. Then add all vegetables, pepper, salt to taste; cover, reduce heat so the broth is softly boiling. Cook until chicken is very tender and almost falls of the bones. Switch off the heat, and add a small bunch of dill, cover and let stand for 15 minutes to intensify the aroma of the broth. This broth is delightfully transparent, with adorable patches of fat floating on the surface, and delectably aromatic, I would dare say - fragrant.
How to make noodles:
It is difficult to make noodles just for one soup, so I will give you the quantities enough for a few soups. Use whatever you need, and store the rest for other occasions.
Whisk 3 eggs with water - 3 halves of egg shell (measuring water with egg shell halves is a peculiar way my mom did this - always resulting in perfect noodles!), add 2 cups of flour, mix with a spoon, then transfer to the table or board and knead, adding more flour until the dough is tough to the touch and gets easily off hands.
Divide the dough into two balls, and roll out each ball very thinly, about 2 mm thick or less. Spread dough on paper towels and let it wilt/dry until it is just slightly dry and can be easily cut to make noodles. Cut each big piece in 3-4 strips, roll each strip, and cut very thinly across. Fluff raw noodles to separate them, and boil fresh or let dry.
Important: spread unused noodles in thin layer on paper towels and let them dry completely. Store in air tight glass jar for future use.
To serve chicken noodle soup, arrange boiled noodles, a good chunk of chicken, carrot slices (from broth) in each bowl, then cover with hot broth, sprinkle with finely chopped dill, black pepper - and proudly present to the hungry crowd. Then watch them eating and rolling their eyes with pleasure - this is a separate show... :)
Those who suffer from fat phobia can make this broth completely fat free: prepare the broth the day before, refrigerate, and skim all fat from the surface the morning after.
Onions can be left unpeeled, choose good undamaged onions and rinse them before cooking. Onion peels will give the broth a golden hue (besides, they could be easily fished out of the broth, when it's done).
You can use other greens to your liking, like parsley - it will make the bouquet richer.
Boil noodles separately from broth, and rinse them with water when ready to remove excess flour. If you boil them in the broth it will loose its transparency and become thicker. Fresh noodles require less time for boiling - do not overboil.
If you are not up to making noodles yourself, commercial linguine (or any other egg noodles) will do.
Chicken for this delectable soup was acquired at Balance Rock Farm situated in the Town of Berlin, MA. Every time I make this soup I feel blessed to have this little farm 15 minutes driving from my home.