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Deliriously happy cooks everywhere have started a grassroots movement to build a solid-gold statue to commemorate the inventor of the Crock-Pot®. This handy, little device allows the head of the kitchen to also have a life becuse so many foods can be loaded in, cooked slowly over the course of many hours, and ready at mealtime. Crock-Pot® chicken noodle soup heads the list of faves around many a dinner table because it offers the same healthy goodness as chicken noodle soup made on the stove top.
There are only a couple tips the home cook needs to keep in mind to prepare the best Crock-Pot® chicken noodle soup. There’s no need to precook or even bone the chicken, but at some point in the process, the cook needs to carefully remove bones and skin and skim off excess fat. This should be done before the noodles are added, or the task will be more difficult.
Cooks with enough time can prepare the chicken to this point, then remove the chicken and veggies, and chill the broth. While the broth is cooling down, it’s time to pull the bones and skin from the meat and dice the chicken. Mushrooms can be added at this point, as well, with these things set aside, then, for the Crock-Pot® chicken noodle soup.
As it cools, the fat rises to the top of the broth in an easy-to-remove skin. If less time is available, after removing the chicken and transferring the broth to a bowl, the clever cook can toss in ice cubes. The fat clings to the cubes, which can then be plucked and tossed.
In either case, the broth should be brought to a simmer on the stove top before being returned to the Crock-Pot®, or the cook should plan an extra hour or so for the Crock-Pot® to bring the soup to a simmer. For many cooks, this might mean preparing the broth a day ahead. Another option is to begin with canned or frozen chicken broth and add skinned and boned chicken. This greatly reduces the cooking time.
Once the fat has been removed and the broth brought back to a simmer, the chicken and veggies can jump back in. Some cooks like dried marjoram or rosemary, while others dote on a little powdered curry to bring on a slow heat. Egg noodles, elbow pasta, or other pasta shapes are the last thing to add. The longer they remain in the liquid, the thicker the Crock-Pot® chicken noodle soup becomes; left long enough, it transforms into a lovely, silky stew.
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