Friday, December 6, 2013

Cooking with Beer - Chicken Noodle Soup in Beer Broth

Soup is a cold weather staple in my home. I make big pots of it with homemade stock and fresh vegetables every couple of weeks or so. I freeze the soup in individual containers and pack them in lunches for work or enjoy them as a quick meal for dinner.

The house favorite is chicken noodle loaded with root vegetables. Simple and satisfying.

I wanted to see how it would taste if I replaced a portion of the water with beer. Beer adds excellent flavor to most recipes and tenderizes meat like a champ so it wasn't really much of a gamble.

The broth in this soup is rich and delicious. It perfectly compliments the vegetables and flavors the noodles. The meat falls apart. In a word - awesome.

I used my hubby's home brewed nut brown ale, but I think just about any beer would work. I'm thinking the exception would be sours and sweeter beers, although they might add an interesting facet to the flavor.

Chicken Noodle Soup in Beer Broth

2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Stalks Celery, Chopped
1 Large Onion, Chopped
4 Carrots, Chopped
4 Red Small Skinned Potatoes, Quartered
4 Yukon Small Gold Potatoes, Quartered
4 Parsnips, Chopped
6 Cloves Of Garlic, Minced
24 Oz Beer  
2 Skin-On, Bone-In Chicken Breasts 
1/2 Lb. Wide Egg Noodles (Optional)
2 Tbsp Tony Chachere Creole Seasoning Or Salt And Pepper To Taste

In a large stock pot, over medium heat cook the celery, carrots, parsnips, and garlic in the olive oil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the potatoes. Season the vegetables with the Tony Chachere and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Place the chicken on top of the vegetables. Pour in the beer and then add enough water to cover. 

Bring the soup to a boil then cover and turn down to a simmer. Allow to cook for at least 3 to 4 hours. 

About 30 minutes before you're ready to serve the soup, remove the chicken to a bowl. Skim off any scummy foam that may be floating on top of the soup. Taste the broth and adjust seasoning, if desired.  

Add the egg noodles to the pot. No need to turn up the heat.

After the chicken has cooled a bit, shred it with a couple of forks,. Be careful to remove all the bones and discard the skin.  Return the chicken, along with any juices that drained off when you shredded it, to the pot.  

By this time the noodles will be done or almost done. When they are al dente, ladle into big soup bowls.

I usually serve this soup with a side of fresh bread and butter. My Beer Rye BreadNo-knead Crusty Beer Bread, or Whole Grain Stout & Molasses Bread go great with this or any other soup.

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