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CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP NEW ORLEANS STYLE

Category:    Soups, Chicken, Hot, Crockpot
Yield: 6 servings
 
      1 lg Whole fryer                              -regular tap water)
      1 c  Diced onions                       12 oz Broad egg noodles
    1/2 c  Diced celery                        2 tb Butter
    1/2 c  Minced parsley                      1 c  Sliced onion rings
      4    Cloves minced garlic                1 c  Sliced mushrooms (I left
      1 c  Chopped carrots                          -these out)
      3    Bay leaves                          1 c  Diced carrots
      1 ts Poultry seasoning                 1/4 c  Cream sherry
      4 qt Bottled water (I used          
 
  SOURCE      Cathy Keller
  
  salt and pepper to taste green onions for garnish (we didn't have any, but
  would imagine it would be fantastic)
  
  First, take the chicken and wash it thoroughly - that means both inside and
  out!  Remove the giblets, scrub out the internal cavity under cold running
  water, and scrape away anything that doesn't look edible. (But DO NOT
  remove the chicken skin or any of the fat!  You need the skin to make a
  rich stock.) Next, take a crock pot (see Note below if you don't have a
  crock pot) and place the chicken and giblets into it. Then drop in the
  diced onions, the 1/2 c of celery, the 1/2 c of minced parsley, the garlic,
  chopped carrots and bay leaves, poultry seasoning and *2 * quarts of water.
  Then, with a spoon, evenly distribute the seasoning mixture around the
  chicken, turn the crock pot to high, and cook for at least six hours (or
  better still, OVERNIGHT).  Remember, the longer you cook, the richer the
  base stock and the more tender the chicken. While the chicken is
  slow-cooking, it's a good time to prepare your noodles.  Go ahead and boil
  them according to package directions... but DO NOT COOK THEM UNTIL DONE!
  Keep in mind that you're going to drop them into a soup, so you want them
  el dente (firm), otherwise they'll turn to pure mush by the time you eat
  them.  Furthermore, you want a small percent of the starch in the noodles
  to cook into the soup to thicken it slightly - if you cook the noodles all
  the way, the soup's consistency will be flat and thin. After the noodles
  are cooked, butter them slightly and set them aside. When the chicken is
  tender, take a set of tongs or a strainer spoon, remove it from the crock
  pot (it may tend to fall apart, but that's okay), and set it on a platter
  to cool.  At this point, strain out all the seasoning vegetables from the
  stock, place the stock into a metal bowl, and place the bowl into the
  refrigerator or freezer until the chicken fat congeals (which should take
  about 1 hour). Meanwhile, pick the chicken off the bones and, with a sharp
  knife, chop it into bit-sized pieces. Then, in a heavy 12-inch skillet,
  melt the butter and saute the sliced onions, mushrooms, and carrots until
  they're tender. Then drop in the chopped chicken meat. And over medium-low
  heat, cook it into the vegetables for about 10 minutes. While the chicken
  and vegetables are sauteing, remove the chicken stock from the
  refrigerator, skim off all the fat, and place the skimmed stock into a soup
  pot, along with the remaining 2 quarts of water. At this point, you should
  season the soup stock to taste with salt and pepper. Now drop in the
  sauteed chicken, mushrooms, onion rings and diced carrots - along with the
  sherry, the Tabasco*, and as soon as it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to
  low and simmer the soup for about 30 minutes to allow all the flavors to
  thoroughly blend. When you're ready to eat, ladle out heaping helpings of
  the piping hot soup into bowls, garnish with a sprinkling of thinly sliced
  green onions, and serve with crunch saltines.
  
  *I just put a couple of drops of Tabasco in there -- Michelle, how much are
  we supposed to put in there?
 

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