This is a “tried and true” crock pot recipe that is perfect for the fall, winter, rainy days, or when someone is not feeling well. It takes the favorite elements of traditional chicken soup recipes, some of the advantages of slow cooking, and even some German / Polish influences.
This recipe was always done with a raw, whole chicken, until one day someone suggested a twist which they saw in a book. They used an already cooked rotisserie chicken. It really adds another wonderful flavor element to an already delicious recipe.
The other interesting suggested ingredients here are Saffron Threads / Turmeric, and replacing a standard egg noodle with Spaetzle (although a lot of German chicken noodle soup recipes will suggest Vermicelli, but Spaetzle is a hearty alternative).
The Saffron and Turmeric really add a beautiful color to this soup, and Turmeric is an especially-healthy ingredient. Adding a little nutmeg at the end can add a very warming taste, but you will need to not let it be too overpowering.
Once you try this recipe, you will have lots of ideas on how to adapt it to your own taste. There are just two big steps to keep in mind. The first is the main cooking stage where most of the ingredients all blend together. The second stage is adding the chicken pieces and noodles. The chicken skin of the rotisserie is very flavorful, chop it into small pieces and add back, if desired.
Here is the recipe, with suggestions along the way:
1 Rotisserie Chicken
10 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1 Large Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Large Potatoes, peeled and diced
2 Cups Carrots, Diced
2 Cups Celery, Diced
2 Cups Corn Kernels (frozen or canned are ok, fresh is best) -or- 3 cups chopped small broccoli florets (8 ounces)
1 pound Geman Spaetzle (or noodles of choice) Homemade Recipe for Spaetzle
1 Tablespoon Parsley, Freshly Chopped (can be more)
1/2 Teaspoon Saffron Threads (Optional as it is hard to find.)
1 Tablespoon Turmeric
1 Teaspoon Ginger
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
In a large 6 quart slow cooker add everything except the Spaetzle, the chicken, and the choice of corn or broccoli (or use both!)
Add some salt and pepper at this stage, but make sure not to over season.
Cook on low for 4 hours or high for around 2 or 3. Longer is fine, too. While cooking, take your rotisserie chicken and remove meat from bones, and skin from meat. Chop large hunks of meat to smaller sizes and chop skin into much smaller pieces. Skin will dissolve and will add great flavor, so don’t throw away. Add to crock pot.
Cook for additional two hours on low. Time is flexible.
When finished, open the lid and remove all of the Saffron threads that you can find floating near the top. Grab a spoonful of the liquid from the crock pot to taste. Add more salt and pepper, turmeric, and/or even nutmeg, if needed.
Now is the time to add your cooked noodles / Spaetzle, corn and / or broccoli. Mix carefully and let it blend for maybe 20 minutes and then it’s time to serve or just keep warm on counter until everyone is ready to eat.
Interesting Additions / Ideas
Also published on Medium.