Disclaimer: I shopped for this meal, I prepped this meal, I cooked this meal and I photographed this meal with a fever, with hacks, coughs and a flowy nose. Expect a few errors, expect some oddities. Just so you know.
Chicken noodle soup is one of those recipes where everyone has their own way of doing it, and it’s the only way. If it’s not their way? Rubbish! Yeah well simmer down now because this recipe is most probably some place you’ve never been. I need you to pay attention because there are some finer point where you’ll go wandering off and not get the expected results. It isn’t just about grilling chicken, then making soup with it, no sir.
Would you like to come play?
Here’s your grocery shoppin’s:
Chicken breasts (or whatever part you enjoy) 2 – good sized ones
Chicken broth – a quart or so
Carrots -2, peeled
Celery – 2 stalks
Onion – 1 – I used a white one
Butter – 2 nice pats
Bay Leaf – 1
Thyme – scant teaspoonful
Cayenne Pepper – to taste (a lot)
s&p – as you like it
Pasta – whatever you like, a few cuppas
While I just gave you a recipe, please don’t be a robot about it. Stick and move.
First off, get your grill’s fire going, a nice hot one. Prep the chicken parts in extra virgin and good salt, set aside.
Small dice your veggies and saute in 1 pat of butter until onion is translucent. Add herbs (break bay leaf in half), then broth. Stir it, look at it. Does it have the right ratio for chicken soup for you? I had to add another stalk of celery for mine. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. When done, add the last pat of butter. Start with butter, finish with butter.
Here’s the tricky part. Since we’re using chicken and not pork butt, it’s going to cook fast and won’t get much time for smoky love. So, you need to be able to sear this chicken so it gets all caramelly and jack the wood chips for max smoke action. This is key.
Notice the smoky love? Yes, you do. Cook the chicken and set aside.
Here are a few points I believe are important. You need to get enough flavor in the soup stock mixture as possible. So, tweak with salt as necessary. This is why I chose to add the herbs, I don’t usually. The butter is very, very important. Not only does it give the soup a rich texture, but butter is a flavor muter. This means any harsh flavors from the herbs will go away.
Adjust cooking so that the pasta is the last item done. Pasta needs to be used immediately, not 20 minutes later. Grab bowl, put in a few large spoonfuls of pasta. Add diced chicken parts, pour soup base over all. Finish with a few undoused chicken pieces and cayenne.