1poundChicken Breasts(2 pieces) skinless, boneless and trimmed of any fat
8cupsChicken Brothdivided (2 cups to poach the chicken, plus 6 cups for the soup)
4Thyme Sprigsdivided (2 for the poached chicken and 2 for the soup)
1small Onionfinely diced
2Carrotssliced into rounds (about 1 cup)
1Celery Ribsliced or diced
Poach the Chicken
Place the chicken in a medium saucepan that’s large enough so that they fit side by side without overlapping. Cover the chicken with 2 cups chicken broth, add 2 thyme sprigs and a pinch of salt.
Start the chicken on high heat and bring the broth to a boil. As soon as it starts boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and cover.
Gently simmer the chicken breasts for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked (165°F at the thickest part).
Remove the chicken breast from the poaching liquid and set it on a cutting board to cool.
Don’t discard the chicken broth; we are going to use it for the soup. Strain it using a fine mesh strainer and reserve it for the soup.
When the chicken has cooled enough to handle shred it using two forks, or your hands.
Make the Soup
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is hot and the butter has melted, add the onions, carrots and celery. Cook the vegetables gently for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the garlic to the pot and cook for 1 minute, stirring almost constantly.
Add the flour to the pot and stir well until it’s incorporated. Cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes. Stir almost constantly.
Slowly add in the reserved poaching liquid and the 6 cups of chicken broth. Stir constantly until the ingredients are combined and the flour mixture is dissolved in the broth.
Raise the heat to medium-high and bring the broth to a boil.
Add the shredded chicken and the remaining thyme sprigs to the pot. Stir well.
Lower the heat to medium-low, cover the pot and cook the soup for 20 minutes. Stir the soup occasionally and keep it at a simmer; if it starts boiling too vigorously lower the heat a bit.
While the soup simmers Cook the Egg Noodles
Cook the egg noodles to package directions in a separate pot. Use the lowest recommended cooking time. We don’t want to overcook them.
Drain the egg noodles well and set aside until the soup is ready
Finish the soup
Remove the thyme stems from the pot. Use tongs to fish them out and discard.
Add the cooked noodles to the soup and stir well. Turn off the heat, cover the pot and let the soup sit for a few minutes before serving.
Taste the soup and add salt if needed. As a reference, we did not add extra salt to our chicken soup.
Cook the egg noodles in a separate pot, not in the soup. If we add the uncooked noodles to the soup they will soak up most of the broth as they cook.Don’t add salt to the soup until the end because packaged chicken broth contains a good amount already.