Everyone has heard of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books originally compiled by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. They are very uplifting books with life stories that remind you that there is still good in the world. I read snatches of stories here and there when I was in high school. They were nice things to pick up every once in a while, but I never actually sat down and read them straight through.
Yesterday, though, I really needed some chicken soup for the soul. I have been desperately hunting for a regular job. I need to pay car insurance and get a credit card and take care of other “Now I’m an adult and have to take care of myself” things. While I totally love my current job as an English tutor, it just doesn’t provide enough work for me to take care of that stuff. So anyway, I applied to various jobs and almost got totally scammed twice in 24 hours. Thank goodness for wise parents who look out for me. Anyway, I sort of lost a little faith in humanity. What’s with everyone trying to deceive and cheat each other? Can’t we be honest? Wouldn’t that be a happier, better way to live? Plus I was terrified that something like this might happen to me again, so I was fighting off panic attacks all evening. So, to make myself feel better, I made some chicken noodle soup.
(Serves 2 generously)
4 cups water
1 tbs chicken base
1 tsp chicken bouillon (and more, if needed)
1 chicken breast (preferably with the bones and skin. It gives the broth a better flavor)
2 small potatoes, peeled and chopped
¼ chopped yellow onion
¼ cup frozen peas
1 small carrot, chopped
1 cup egg noodles
Pepper to taste
Please note that these are the ingredients I used. You can throw in whatever you want. These measurements are also approximate. I really just put in however much looked good.
Put water and chicken base in a small pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken breast (make sure it is mostly submerged. Add more water if you have to) and boil until thoroughly cooked (it took mine about 25 minutes, but it was frozen). Remove chicken from broth (I used a strainer, but I guess tongs could work, too), place in bowl and store in refrigerator for about five-ten minutes.
While the chicken is cooling, add vegetables to hot chicken broth and bring to a boil. Also add bouillon and pepper to taste. Take out the chicken and make sure it’s cool enough to handle.
Debone the chicken. This part is a little gross, but is a necessary evil. You need to separate the chicken breast from the skin and bone and place it in a separate bowl. As you do so, you can tear the meat into bite sized pieces. I usually eat a couple little pieces of chicken while I’m doing this, because it’s all hot and juicy.
Of course, if you have a boneless skinless chicken breast you don’t need to worry about deboning (obviously), but you will probably have to add a little more chicken bouillon to your broth, because it won’t be as flavorful. Just chop up the chicken to whatever size you prefer.
When the potatoes and carrots are soft and the onion is clear, you can add your noodles. I just added as much as would fit into the pan mostly submerged. You can add more water to the broth, though, if you need it. Cook the noodles for however long it says on the package. Keep a close eye on it, because all that starch will make the pot boil over if it is covered all the way. I generally cook the noodles for ten minutes. Add your chicken and any last minute pepper or bouillon. Stir, serve, and enjoy!
Note: if you are making soup for larger quantities, use a whole chicken. It’s more stuff to debone, but it gives the broth a way better flavor and is cheaper than a ton of chicken breasts.
It really hit the spot for me, and it made me feel better. I don’t know what it is about chicken soup, but it does seem to cure all ills. I guess my mom and I enjoyed it a little too much, though, because it was all gone before I even thought to take a picture. You’ll just have to make it yourself to see what it looks like.
P.S. Does anyone else feel like that was a very Reading Rainbow-esque ending?