Slow-Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
This is a slow-cooker recipe for chicken noodle soup. I love to cook this on weekends when I have the whole day at home. I simply dump everything inside the crock pot, relax for hours (watch anime, play game, nap) while the contents are simmering away. The duration of cooking may be long, but the efforts are minimal, save for topping up the water in the cooker now and then when needed. At the end of the day, we get a pot of food which tasted like the cook had been slaving in the kitchen for hours. Perfect for peeps like me who is too lazy to cook, even lazier to go out and still want to eat well on a lazy weekend >o<
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Chicken noodle soup is a nourishing and comforting soup for the cold season, and by that I meant both the colder weather or for those nursing a cold. It’s a perk-me-up for those who are feeling sick, tired or needing some warmth.
In a saucepan, melt butter in medium heat, then saute the celery and onions until the latter are softened, about 3-5 minutes. You can skip this step if you are busy/lazy.
In the crock pot, add sauteed celery & onions with the following: carrots, sliced ginger, garlic cloves, bay leaves and dried Italian seasoning (may be replaced by other dried or fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme or dill).
I used a whole small chicken, cut to large pieces with the bones still intact, and most of the skin removed except for the wings (because I don’t know how to remove that). You can save the chicken skin in the freezer to make Hainanese chicken rice. Instead of a whole chicken, you can also use a few chicken bone carcass with chicken thighs or drum sticks or breast.
Blanch the chicken pieces in boiling water for 5 minutes (pictured above), rinse off the scum on the chicken and set aside.
Add boiling water and blanched chicken into the crock pot. Many recipes use low sodium chicken broth instead. I personally prefer to use plain water when using a slow cooker. The choice is yours. Set the slow cooker to cook on HIGH for a few hours. Pictured above is the start of the cooking. My slow cooker takes 1 hour for the soup to start boiling with bubbles.
While waiting, cook the noodles in a pot of salted water according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles and set aside. More about the noodles in the next photo …
This is the typical noodles used in classic chicken noodle soup. They look like pasta but they are labelled as “egg pasta” or “egg noodles”. I found mine at Cold Storage, it cost S$3.10 for a small packet. The difference between this and the usual pasta is that it contains more percent of egg than regular pasta (my packaging stated 30% egg in the ingredient list). You can substitute with any favourite noodle or pasta, such as macaroni, spaghetti or angel hair.
This is roughly after 3 hours of bubbling in the slow cooker. Season to taste with salt. If you used chicken broth instead of hot water, you may not need much or any salt to taste. If you had used plain water like me, and you find the soup not rich enough to your liking, you can season it to taste with one natural, MSG-free chicken bouillon cube.
By this time, the chicken should be fork tender and come off the bones easily. Take the chicken pieces out of the pot. Shred when cooled. I knew there will be leftovers, so I divided the shredded chicken to breast meat and thigh meat as we each have our preferred cut of chicken in the family. They can be used for salad or noodle toppings.
If you are serving immediately, you can return the shredded chicken and cooked noodles to the crock pot to reheat before serving. I prefer to add them to individual serving bowl and ladle the hot soup over, rather than to dump everything inside the crock pot. Enjoy your slow-cooked goodness bowl of chicken noodle!