There's a good reason they call chicken soup Jewish penicillin: It literally cures everything. That being said, this recipe is just as good for cold weather entertaining as it is for reviving anyone feeling a bit under the weather. Just a little bit of saffron infuses the broth so beautifully for an upgrade in flavor and color. After slowly simmering the chicken and veggies to fortify the golden broth, fresh herbs and egg noodles build this classic soup into a hearty and vibrant meal.
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- 1 (3- to 4-pound) whole chicken
- 8 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, finely ground with a mortar and pestle
- 1 medium yellow onion, halved crosswise
- 1 carrot, halved crosswise
- 1 rib celery, halved crosswise
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 dried bay leaf
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 3 ribs celery, diced
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and diced
- 6 ounces dried medium egg noodles
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves and tender stems
- 1/4 cup minced fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
For the broth:1.
In a large pot, combine the whole chicken, stock, saffron, onion, carrot, celery, thyme, bay leaf and 6 cups water.2.
Bring pot to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer and cook until the chicken is tender and the broth has reduced by a third, about 1 hour 30 minutes.3.
Transfer the chicken to a bowl and let cool slightly, then strain the broth into a large bowl, discarding all the solids. Season the broth with salt and pepper.4.
When the chicken is cool enough the handle, use two forks to shred the meat and discard the skin and bones. Set the meat aside.
For the soup:5.
Return the strained broth to the pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.6.
Add the prepared carrots, celery and parsnips and cook, reducing the heat as needed to maintain a simmer, until veggies are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.7.
Add the shredded chicken and the egg noodles and cook until the noodles are al dente and the chicken is heated through, 5 to 6 minutes.8.
Remove pot from the heat and stir in the parsley, dill and lemon zest. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed with salt and pepper.9.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with additional herbs, if desired.
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