Thirty Minute Chicken Noodle Soup
1/2 small onion, diced
1 c sliced celery
1 c sliced carrots
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 T butter
1/2 t salt
1 t dried tarragon
4 c chicken broth
1.5 c cooked, chopped chicken
1 c wide egg noodles
1 c frozen peas
Melt butter in a small stockpot. Add celery, carrots, garlic, onion, salt and tarragon and saute until vegetables soften, about fifteen minutes. Add chicken broth and chicken and simmer, covered, another fifteen minutes. Stir in egg noodles and simmer another 8-9 minutes until noodles are cooked but not mushy. Off heat stir in peas. Pepper to taste and serve.
Notes: I had half of the chicken leftover from Zingerman's so I made this specifically in the hopes that the tiny pieces of chicken and the soft noodles and carrots would be easy on Patrick throat. They were.
A few things about this recipe. First, using a chicken broth you like is crucial because the soup does not have a long time to develop a whole lot of additional flavors. I love Swanson's Natural Goodness but to each his own. Sauteing the vegetables in butter rather than my usual olive oil is key, too, because it adds a richness that you miss with the quick cooking time. I used to cut cooked chicken into small cubes but I have started really mincing it for certain recipes. I think it works especially well in soups. Finally, I usually make twice this much but I had to adjust for the small quantity of chicken we had leftover.
This served Caroline, Edward, and Patrick for dinner and me the next day for lunch.
A couple people asked about the butterflied chicken in that last recipe. Because you are using a 3lb fryer rather than a larger roasting bird it really does fit into a cast iron skillet even after the backbone is removed and the two halves are flattened. My skillet (I am almost positive - I will check when I get home from the library. I am here "picking up books for Patrick") is only ten inches and it fit comfortably.
To answer another question the advantage to butterflying is the much faster roasting time. The chicken is able to cook through in just about an hour.
Hope this helps.