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Cold-Weather Chicken Soup

Since the weather forecast around here is for snow, and temperatures down to -9 F (-22 C), I thought a recipe or two for some cold-weather food might be appropriate. Here’s a chicken soup recipe adapted from Craig Claiborne that I’ve been making for twenty years now – that is, it’s pretty reliable.
1 chicken (in the 3-to-4 pound or 1.5 kilo range)
Corn (fresh or frozen), about 2 cups or 500 mL volume (or more to taste)
Egg noodles (4 oz. / 0.15 kg or more, depending on taste)
Two hard-boiled eggs
Fresh parsley
Take the chicken, cover it in water, add a teaspoon of salt (6g) and some ground pepper, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook it this way until the meat begins to come off the bone a bit – that will take at least an hour, perhaps closer to 90 minutes. Take the chicken out of the broth and let it cool enough to shred the meat off by hand.
Skim some of the fat from the broth – depending on the chicken you started with, there will probably be more of that than you want. (If you have lots of time, such as making this soup for the next day, you can chill the whole thing and remove the fat that way). Either way, get things back to a low simmer and add the corn at this point – if you’re using frozen corn kernels, give the soup about five or ten minutes to heat back up. Then add the egg noodles – the quantities of both of these can be adjusted to how thick you’d like the soup to be, but the amounts given are a good starting point. Simmer for 8 or 10 minutes to get the noodles cooked, then grate the hard-boiled eggs into the soup and add the reserved chicken meat. Serve with chopped fresh parsley in each bowl.

14 comments on “Cold-Weather Chicken Soup”

  1. Dean Prather says:

    I’ve never heard of putting hard-boiled eggs in a chicken noodle soup — sounds intriguing!

  2. enotty says:

    Do you remove the skin first?…

  3. Captain Ned says:

    @enotty:
    Leave the skin on through the boiling to keep the fat and flavor. Once you shred the bird what you do with the skin is up to you.
    Shredded boiled eggs in chicken soup? A first for me. Personally, I’d ditch the egg and add some chopped scallion at the end. If I had a shallot in the fridge I’d mince and saute it in the boiling pot before starting the boiling. Once you’ve passed the worst of it and your stomach is ready for a few solids a few kreplach in the finished soup wouldn’t hurt as well.

  4. dearieme says:

    We’ve been enjoying goose-a-leekie soup. We’ve used a cock-a-leekie recipe, but replaced the chook by left-over Christmas goose. We’ve supplemented the leek with left-over celery and roast parsnip, and replaced the barley or rice by left-over potato. By golly it’s good.

  5. jbosch says:

    Quick tip for your fat-removal. Since most american households have these fridge-freezer combinations with an ice maker, you can simply get some ice and wrap it into a clean towel (can be paper if you have the strong brand) then dip it into the soup. The fat will cool down and solidify on your paper towel.
    Left overs for us is a second round of Raclette (Check out wikipedia, the modern version), since we were unable to finish all of it yesterday.

  6. Captain Ned says:

    Mmm, leeks.
    While a good bowl of chicken soup takes off the chill, a bowl of potato-leek soup is a home run.

  7. lazy chook says:

    As an alternative, you can crack the raw eggs into the pot while the soup’s still hot. Stir the egg quickly through the soup, and you’ll get lovely tendrils of egg.
    Intrigued with the grated hard-boiled eggs. Must try it some day. Thanks for the recipe, and Happy New Year!

  8. Ed says:

    I have to agree with the others, hard boiled egg in chicken soup? Not what I normally think of when I think of chicken soup. Maybe a “ramen” style soup will have a poached egg or soft boiled egg left whole or halved but I have never heard of shredded hard-boiled egg – even if it is coming from Craig Clairborne. I realize this isn’t a cooking website so I won’t drag this out any longer. FYI – I don’t really like eggs. But chicken soup is good, especially when it is very cold. Thanks for the inspiration to get into the kitchen. I think I will stick with something more traditional? – chicken stock, carrots, celery, maybe an onion or leek, chicken meat, salt , pepper, and some noodles or rice. Cheers, Happy New Year!!!

  9. barry says:

    but if you do the egg-drop tendril stunt, you have to strain the noodles and any other solids out first (you can then add them back after the tendrils set). Otherwise, the egg binds everything into an unsightly mass.

  10. db says:

    Another way of removing fat from broths without chilling the whole thing is to float a few ice cubes and swish them around. My Mom used to do this when making gravy.

  11. LeeH says:

    Derek
    Try roasting the chicken first (at least enough to brown the skin). Also, onions, carrots, celery, garlic, and a little dried dill.
    (Brought to you by the people of the book and chicken soup)

  12. Derek Lowe says:

    #11 LeeH –
    I like that one, too, but that’s a different chicken soup. Let a thousand chicken soups flourish, I say!

  13. UKChemist says:

    I just made myself this soup, and I have to say it is amazing. I’m not a fan of sweetcorn so I swapped it out for a chopped chilli and some onion but it still tasted brilliant! Will have to have a look at some of the other recipes you’ve put on here

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