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Saturday, January 31, 2015

#ohthisisgonnabegood- Slow-Cooker Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

Confession time: I might have been a tiny bit jealous of the folks up in the northeast.
 I want to play in the snow. I don't necessarily want snow up to the front door or freeze my behind off shoveling snow,but I want some snow.

   See I live in the south,Mississippi to be exact. I have lived in the south all of my life and when we get snow it's a massive buy-all-the-milk-and-bread type frenzy. We pack it in like the snow is staying for two weeks when really it'll melt 12 hours later and just be really clod for a few days.

   So there you have it,I'd like some snow this winter.The cold weather still makes appearances every few weeks so I do have that going for me. This past weekend while I was working through my need-for-snow feelings,I decided we needed some cozy food on the menu for the upcoming week. Chocolate Chip Cookies and Chicken Noodle Soup were the two recipes that screamed or more like a subtle whisper cozy to me.

      I made up some cookie dough to rest in the fridge and bake the next day. The chicken soup was up next on my to-make list. I had been eyeing a certain recipe for the past few weeks. It was from a reliable source ,the folks at America's Test Kitchen. They are some fairly thourough cooks so I knew it would be good. I also new there would a extra work invovled but the end product would be wonderful.
And it was.

Slow-Cooker Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup
Adapted from this awesome cookbook
 written by America's Test Kitchen
4 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
2 TBL evoo
3 carrots,peeled and chopped medium
2 celery ribs,chopped medium
1 onion,finely ,chopped
3 garlic cloves,mined
1 TBL tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried dill
pinch of red pepper flakes,optional
8 cups chicken stock, divided
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup wide egg noodles
1.Pat chicken breasts dry  and season with salt and pepper. Heat the evoo in a large skillet and brown the chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside on a plate to rest and cover loosely with foil.
2. IN THE SAME SKILLET- over medium heat soften the carrot,celery and onion for 5 minutes then add in the garlic,cook for 1 minute longer.
3.Add in the tomato paste,thyme,dill and red pepper flakes,stir into the vegetables to dissolve the tomato paste. Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock into the skillet,scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan; transfer skillet contents to a slow-cooker.
4. Transfer the chicken breasts and accumulated juices on the plate into the slow-cooker onto the vegetables.Add in the 2 bay leaves and remaining chicken stock. ( Add the chicken stock slowly to the slow cooker.You MAY NOT use ALL of the chicken stock leftover. 7 cups is the maximum to use.)
5.Set the slow cooker to cook 4-6 hours on low. WHILE THE SOUP is cooking prepare your egg noodles according to package directions. ( Here is a good time to use up some of the chicken stock that didn't fit in the slow-cooker.Add it to your pasta water when you are filling your pot with water.This step will add so much more flavor to your noodles.)
6. When the soup is finished,take out the chicken and let it cool. Shred with two forks.Now add the shredded chicken back into the slow-cooker along with the frozen peas and cooked noodles. Let it rest for 5 minutes until heated through. Enjoy!

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