For this recipe, it calls for boneless chicken. I personally like to use chicken with the bone in because it adds more flavor to it (even with thighs). With kids, though, it would be easier to just use boneless chicken as you don't want the little ones to choke on small piece of bone. Also, it can be cumbersome to pick the meat out of the bone after it has been cooked. So, boneless it is!
Don't forget that this was cooked a couple of days before. Even by cooking it the day before and letting the spices settle, the soup will have plenty of flavor. Well, here's the recipe!
1 tbsp bacon fat
2 med sized onions, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 stalks of celery, chopped
4 boxes of chicken stock or broth
6 pieces of chicken thighs
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp course ground pepper
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsbp paprika
2 tbsp herbs of provence (savory, thyme, basil, fennel)
8 oz of dry egg noodles
Start with the celery, onions and carrots. I didn't know this until about a couple of years ago that this trinity is called a mirepoix in French cooking. Thank you Julia for that one! :)
In the meantime, in a large pot, put in some of the bacon fat. Start to let it heat on med/low. Notice that I was actually using some bacon grease that I had left over from cooking for another dish.
After you have cut all the veggies, place them into the pot. Stir them periodically as you want the vegetables to start to sweat out.
Once you start to notice that the onions are getting a little translucent, add the chicken stock. Turn up the heat and bring this to a boil.
While the broth is coming to a boil, cut all of the thighs that you have into cubes. I love thighs and, no matter what people say how fatty they are, I just love the flavor. Once you are done with dicing the chicken, place into the hot pot.
Allow this mixture to boil. This will be for about 30 minutes as you have chicken and you want the meat to cook through.
The last thing you will add is the dry noodles. I only added half of the bag because there is plenty of good veggies and chicken in that pot. Mix the noodles into to pot. Keep in mind, you might need to add more hot water or broth to the pot as the noodles will soak up the liquid.
Taste the soup to see if it might need any additional salt or other spices. I don't like to add any more salt than I need to, so for me I don't add any more than required in the recipe.