Some of the best recipes are a product of total accidents. This recipe is one of those. I started out the day throwing a bunch of ingredients in the crock pot so we'd have something to eat for dinner. That evening when I got home from work, I was trying to decide if I should make chicken soup or chicken pot pie. I decided on soup, and added the noodles, and then without thinking about it, went right over to the stove and started making the roux for pot pie!
When my brain caught up and I realized what I had done, I decided to throw it all together and make a creamy chicken noodle soup. I hate wasted effort almost as much as I hate wasted ingredients. The results were wonderful, and per my future son-in-law's request, I wrote everything down so I could make it exactly the same way the next time. ;o)
~I like to use real ingredients that are as unprocessed as possible. That said, I don't like to reinvent the wheel, so wherever I can take short cuts without sacrificing quality, I do. These might be dried veggies or herbs, frozen chopped produce or pre-made (without nasties added) base ingredients. Wherever I use a specific brand, it's noted.
~If you leave the noodles out and lessen the broth, this would make wonderful pot pie filling.
~To make ahead for the freezer, I recommend leaving the potato out and adding it when you are warming it to serve. Potatoes tend to get mushy and grainy when frozen if they don't have special preparation.
Accidental Chicken Soup
3 chicken breasts, can be added still frozen (I prefer brining mine first)
1 lb frozen peas
2 cups sliced carrots
1 large potato, diced into small cubes
1/4 C dry onions
1 clove minced garlic (from a jar)
salt and pepper to taste (if you brine your chicken, reduce salt)
2 quarts chicken broth (Better than Bouillon or Rachael Ray stock)
1 package of whole wheat egg noodles
Roux (recipe below)
Place everything but egg noodles and roux into crock.
Cook on low for 6 hours, high for 3-4 hours.
Remove chicken, set aside. Chop when cool enough to handle.
Remove 2 cups of the broth and set aside for roux.
Add 1 package of whole wheat egg noodles to the crock, stir to cover with broth and replace cover.
1/2 C Butter
1/2 C Flour
1/4 - 1/2 C half and half
1 Tbsp bouillon concentrate (Better than Bouillon is my favorite)
2 C reserved broth from crock
Melt butter and bouillon, slowly incorporate flour until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly for about one minute.
While whisking, drizzle in half and half. Continue whisking while slowly adding broth. Continue to whisk til smooth, then remove from heat.
Add roux and chopped chicken back into the crock. Noodles should be tender by this point. Mix thoroughly.
Serve with biscuits.