Grandma's Chicken Macaroni Soup

We received another whole chicken from our CSA this week and rather than make another roasted bird for dinner, I thought I'd make chicken stock. Chicken stock then turned into my Grandma's Chicken Macaroni Soup which is a nice way of saying "macaroni in chicken soup with chicken and some garnishing." It's good, either way.

My grandmother would make this on weekends for the family, and it brings back memories of lazy Saturdays (or Sundays) and the house would smell fantastic - she'd fry up some shallots or garlic to crispy bits for garnishing if we didn't already have any on hand. The aroma of fresh, homemade chicken broth would waft and it always made me happy. This is such a simple recipe, even though the broth itself takes a long time but one batch of it will last you a while if you freeze it like I have and you can use it for other things too. The chicken is great for salads or sandwiches or to add to other broth-based dishes like ramen or noodles. Or more macaroni.

This would also be good to make right now since tons of people seem to be suffering from some summer cold.

Please note that I'm using the words soup and broth to mean pretty much the same thing. Sorry!

Chicken broth:

  • 1 whole chicken in a large pot. Fill with just enough water to cover the bird.

  • Add celery, 1 large onion diced, carrots, garlic, any other spices you have handy. Or if you're fancy you can use a bouquet garni.

  • Salt & pepper.

  • Bring to boil then simmer for 1 1/2 hours, covered.

I find it's easiest to skim the fat when it's cooled down, using a sieve or slotted spoon. Remove chicken, pour broth through a fine mesh sieve into containers to store in freezer.

Macaroni Soup:

  • Make enough macaroni or pasta of your preference according to package instructions/portions. Drain and set aside.

  • Homemade chicken stock (I err on the side of using too much at a time because I like to go back for seconds of just soup and chicken)

  • Chicken (the one that you cooked while making the stock)

  • Cilantro

  • Crispy garlic/shallots

Divide pasta into bowls. When the broth is boiling, turn burner down, carefully "wash" the pasta and chicken with the hot soup and drain back into the pot just once, then ladle as much soup as you want into your bowl. Sprinkle cilantro, crispy garlic and/or shallots and enjoy. I also use hot peppers (diced) for a nice kick and added a little more flavor with fish sauce, white pepper and a teeny bit of sesame oil after dishing it all up in the bowl.

Think of the macaroni+chicken+broth as the base.