Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles
SoupAddict saw a recipe last year that really spoke to her. It’s blustery, snowy winter here, and things warm and thick and comforting are highly prized. And in SoupAddict’s world, things that are warm and thick and comforting often come in the form of soup. Soup is love in a bowl, is SoupAddict’s philosophy. (That, and “bacon is love on a plate.”)
Being smart and clever peeps, you probably noticed “Slow Cooker” in the title, along with the photo of SoupAddict’s Crock Pot above, and have already put 2 and 2 together, concluding that this will be a slow cooker recipe. The delicious original recipe was not one for the slow cooker (nor is it really a soup, but rather soup’s close and personal friend, Stew). But as SoupAddict was writing out her grocery shopping list for this recipe, she noticed the Crock Pot that has been sitting on her counter since Christmas. And [ding!] a light clicked on, and suddenly SoupAddict’s brain got to workingpopping, pinging, and spewing a little exhaust in the processand pretty soon she had a plan for a slow cooker version.
Remove the skin, discard, and use two forks to pull the meat from the bones. Discard the bones … or, if you’re feeling extra motivated, you can actually put the more substantial bones back into the pot and let them continue to cook. Just remember to remove them before serving.
Add the paste to the stew in the Crock Pot and stir to combine thoroughly. Then add the chicken back Crock Pot.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles
Adapted for the slow cooker from ThePioneerWoman.com
2 lbs. chicken (I used 1 bone-in split chicken breast and several bone-in thighs)
2 whole carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 leek, diced (white and light green parts only)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper (more to taste)
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves removed (discard stem) OR 1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 teaspoons parsley flakes
1 quart water, very, very hot (plus more as needed) OR 1 quart chicken stock, unheated (plus additional water as needed)
1 tablespoon chicken base, if you’re using water instead of broth
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
16 ounces frozen egg noodles
Place the chicken, vegetables, herbs and spices (including salt) in the slower cooker and turn to LOW. If using water, mix the chicken base into the hot water. Pour the water/chicken base or chicken stock into the slow cooker. Add water as needed to ensure that the chicken is covered by the liquid.* Cover and let it do its thang for 6 to 8 hours.
If you’re home and you used bone-in chicken, remove all the chicken from the cooker at about the 4-5 hour mark. Remove the skin (if not skinless) and use two forks to pull the chicken apart and remove the bones. Otherwise, do this same step at the 6 hour mark, or as soon as possible after that. For boneless chicken, use two forks to pull the chicken into shreds. Set side.
Place the flour in a small mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid, stirring to form a thick paste. Add this paste to the slow cooker and mix well to combine. Then add the chicken back the to cooker, along with any large, easily spottable-and-removable bones (for extra flavor). Cover and allow to continue cooking.
20 minutes before serving, add the frozen noodles to the cooker and turn heat to HIGH to help offset the cold temperature that the noodles will introduce. When noodles are cooked through, taste and adjust seasonings to suit. (Don’t forget to remove the bones, if you had re-added them back earlier.)
*The amount of liquid you need will vary according to the size and shape of your chicken pieces. I usually don’t need more than 4 cups, but don’t be surprised if you need 5. Remember, the more liquid you add, the more soupy it will be. If you want it thick, stick to the 4 cups.