CHEF JEFF: One Byte At A Time — Chicken Noodle Soup

Anyone looking to save some serious money when shopping for chicken would be well-advised to buy whole instead of cut-up. That’s because the cost difference is somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 to $5 a pound.

But there is also another good reason to buy your chickens whole. When cutting up an entire bird, you have a neck and backbone available that can be used to make stock or broth for soup. And if you debone the breasts and thighs, there also is additional meat for soup.

That’s what I did Sunday, with the thought of making some chicken noodle soup. The the idea actually came to me a day earlier when an acquaintance asked  what would be good to feed someone who is ailing.

I suggested chicken soup, which through the ages has been a go-to food to fight colds and the flu and whose supposed health benefits have garnered some support from the medical community in recent years.

My recipe contains the basics ― noodles, broth and chicken ― a spattering of vegetables (usually whatever I have available) and my favorite soup seasoning, Herbes de Provence, a combination of thyme, basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, lavender, fennel and sage.

The soup is a bargain no matter how you look at it.

Chicken Noodle Soup
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooked squash (optional)
1 cup cooked chicken
4 ounces egg noodles
1 cup frozen peas
1 small onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup whole-kernel corn
3 carrots, sliced
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper to taste
Place all the ingredients in stock pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 2 hours.

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