Cooking: Chicken Noodle Soup

14 Jan

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup from America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution

I got a new cookbook for Christmas: America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution, and I love it!  I looked through all of the recipes and couldn’t decide where to start so I just started at the beginning.  First recipe in the book: good old-fashioned chicken noodle soup.  First lesson I learned: these recipes are not the dump and run crock-pot recipes we all love.  NOPE.  There is a lot of prep before you put it in the slow cooker and prep after the slow cooker is done.  Second lesson I learned: it’s totally worth it.  This recipe was fantastic!!

Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup

From Season 12: Slow-Cooker Revolution

Why this recipe works:

Making chicken noodle soup with a deep, satisfying flavor requires a few tricks when using a slow cooker. First, we used a combination of bone-in chicken thighs and breasts. The cooked and shredded breast meat tasted nice in the final soup, but the bone-in thighs really gave the broth its flavor during the long cooking time. And for maximum flavor, we found it necessary to brown the chicken thighs (and remove the skin) before adding them to the slow cooker. To prevent the breast meat from overcooking (which happens when there is a lot of liquid in the slow cooker), we wrapped the chicken breast inside a foil packet. Boiling the noodles separately was a quick and easy way to make sure they had just the right texture.

Serves 6 to 8


  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs , trimmed
  •   Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 carrots , peeled and chopped medium
  • 2 celery ribs , chopped medium
  • 1 onion , minced
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (12-ounce) bone-in, skin-on split chicken breast , trimmed
  • 1 1/2 ounces wide egg noodles (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley


1. Dry chicken thighs with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken thighs well on both sides, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to plate, let cool slightly, and discard skin.
2. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat left in pan. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook over medium heat until vegetables are softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, thyme, and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in 1 cup chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits; transfer to slow cooker.
3. Stir remaining 7 cups broth and bay leaves into slow cooker. Nestle browned chicken with any accumulated juice into slow cooker. Season chicken breast with salt and pepper, wrap in foil packet, and lay on top of soup. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.
4. Remove foil packet, open it carefully (watch for steam), and transfer chicken breast to cutting board. Transfer chicken thighs to cutting board. Let all chicken cool slightly, then shred into bite-sized pieces, discarding skin and bones. Let soup settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Discard bay leaves.
5. Cook egg noodles in boiling salted water until tender, then drain. Stir cooked noodles, shredded chicken, and peas into soup and let sit until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.


Posted by on January 14, 2012 in Recipes, Reviews


2 responses to “Cooking: Chicken Noodle Soup

  1. mona

    November 2, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    I made this for dinner last night and my husband went bonkers! It was so good!!
    I have some fresh turkey thighs and trying the same recipe with two thighs, no white meat, and less broth. (since I don’t have as much poultry…)

    Love this cookbook! Everything I’ve made has turned out just great!

  2. tunsch

    November 20, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for posting this. I have a dumb questions. I just watched this episode of ATK. So, you brown the chicken [skin], and then take the skin off and throw it away, leaving just the flavored ‘schmutz’. And then you throw all but one tablespoon of that away to sweat the veggies. We do all that browning and schmutzing just to throw it all away? Where does the flavor for the soup come from? I trust the recipe and peoples’ opinions, I just don’t understand it. Thanks! 😀

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