Easter Weekend. Growing up in Louisiana, I remember Easter being warm and sunny. In the Pacific Northwest, this has not been my experience.
Memories from childhood include, attending service at Ashland Baptist Church (where my folks still attend); Easter Egg Hunts at my grandma’s house (we call her MawMaw); good Southern cooking, usually consisting of ham, deviled eggs, scalloped potatoes, green beans, broccoli rice casserole and MawMaw’s amazing biscuits (the very best ever); oh, and candy, lots and lots of candy! (Peeps, anyone?!)
The last two years, though, it has been freezing here. Absolutely too cold for me to considered it Easter weekend. To me, Easter weekend introduces the beginning of Spring, beautiful flowers, vegetable gardens and softball season (Growing up, I played softball on a co-ed team; I miss it!)
Regardless of the weather, the reason that I celebrate Easter remains constant—Christ’s death, burial and resurrection. All “because of love,” for all who believe. The most precious gift that I will ever receive.
However, with the temperatures begin downright winter-like, I chose to make something to warm us up–Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.
On Thursday, I cooked a chicken in the crock pot, which we used for BBQ Chicken Pizza. There was quiet a bit of meat leftover, as well as the bones, which make an amazing stock, if slow-cooked. So, that is what I did.
All day yesterday, I cooked the bones in the crock pot, adding a few seasonings. The result: the most amazing chicken stock, which I used today to make soup. This soup hit the spot today, being as cold as it was. Not the typical Easter weekend cuisine, but it sure was good!
Homemade Chicken Soup
1 small chicken
1/2 gallon of water
salt and pepper, to taste
Herbs de Provence
1/2 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
1 bag of tiny noodles (I found these in the Hispanic aisle of the market)
1 T of chicken bouillon base
Season chicken with seasonings of your choice. (I use Cajun seasonings.) Cook chicken all day in crock pot. Pull meat off, cool and store in ziploc bags. (You can freeze for future use, too.) Reserve aprx. 2 cups of chicken for the soup.
Place chicken bones back into crock pot, adding 1/2 gallon of water (or as much as your crock pot will hold, depending upon size). Add salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence. (Also, you may add, quartered onion, carrots and celery. I added this to my soup, so I didn’t bother.) Cook at least 8 hours. You will have a rich stock that is absolutely delicious.
Drain stock into a stock pot/soup pot. Add vegetables, chicken meat, chicken bouillon and seasonings to taste. At this point, you may want to add a bit ore water, but it is not necessary. Bring to a boil, cook until vegetables are tender (about 15-20 minutes). Add noodles and cook aprx. 10 minutes on low. (Actually, if the stove is off, the noodles will cook in the broth with lid covered, no heat needed.)
Taste soup and make any final seasoning adjustments. Serve with warm, crusty bread. Delicious!
What are your Easter memories or traditions, foods or treats?