or, Roast Chicken: The Threequel
So, the roast chicken has been picked clean, and the leftover meat has been made into a pie, along with a few ladlefuls of stock. One last hurrah – a bowl of chicken soup, springy egg noodles, a confetti of fresh vegetables and a still-soft-but-not-liquid yolked poached egg. Astonishing that the bones and vegetable peelings still have enough flavour to make a robust and warming dinner – this is comfort food, but pretty healthy and almost fat free. It costs almost nothing and is a very quick meal – about 10 minutes to prepare.
I cook the noodles separately so that we don’t end up drinking vast amounts of starch in the soup – not sure if there is any scientific basis to this though!
Hardly a Recipe: Noodle Soup
About 1l chicken stock, started with raw bones and cold water, with the addition of the broken up chicken carcass, carrot and onion peelings, a pinch of salt and pepper and a bay leaf
2 nests of instant egg noodles
2 spring onions
Small bunch coriander
50g frozen peas
Crispy onions, to taste
- Put the kettle on and set aside a large pan for the noodles
- Through a sieve, ladle the stock into a medium sized pan and bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer
- Carefully break two eggs into the pan of stock – try not to let them touch each other. They should sink to the bottom. Any fat on the top of the stock can be skimmed off using a metal spoon (it’s easiest to do this at the sides of the pan, I think)
- Wash the vegetables, peel the carrots and dice finely. Slice the spring onions thinly and chop the coriander – if there is any stock left, the coriander stalks, carrot peelings and spring onion trimmings can be added, if clean
- Place the egg noodles into the boiling water and cook, stirring with a chopstick until loose and al dente (about 2 minutes) then drain – if you can, drain the water into your two serving bowls to warm them, then discard the water
- Loosen the eggs from the bottom of the stock – they should be fully opaque, but not rubbery. Taste the stock and add salt/pepper if required. Add the frozen peas and turn up the heat to quicken the simmer
- Divide the noodles into the warmed bowls, and portion out the carrots and spring onions. Pour over the soup and peas, and place an egg on each bowl. Top with coriander and crispy onions.
This can be served with a whole range of vegetables, minimally cooked. Pak choi, cut into thin ribbons, can be added with the peas at the end – they only need a scalding. Or broccoli, cut small and steamed using a metal sieve over the top of the noodles or stock pans. Any remaining chicken can be added to good effect, or peeled prawns. Croutons are an indulgent addition to this highly comforting dinner.
A note on keeping stock – I am probably far to slack about this, but I either freeze the stock after it’s first made and cooled, straining the contents of the slow cooker into a freezer bag lined measuring jug, or if it’s kept out, I bring it to the boil once a day and then when it’s cooled, keep in the fridge.