Christine is going to share her recipe for the Best Chicken Noodle Soup Ever, but first...
Three Random Questions for Christine RimmerWhat is one thing you love about yourself?
My vivid imagination. Luckily, I became a writer. I could have gotten into all kinds of trouble otherwise.
Besides the grocery store, where do you shop most often?
I love the farmer's markets we have all over my new hometown of Portland, Oregon. You never know what you might find there. The best goat cheese you ever tasted, a terrific homemade hummus. The possibilities are endless. I also like our local natural foods chain, New Seasons Market. New Seasons has a great deli. And they make an effort to provide quality local organic meats and produce. And some really good, reasonably price wines, as well.
THE PRINCE'S SECRET BABY, Prince Rule Bravo-Calabretti visits Dallas to meet the mother of his toddler son. How did Sydney become his baby’s mother if she’s never met Rule before?
I love this question. But I'm not going to answer it. Because I think it's better for readers to discover the answer in the book. To tell would definitely be spoilerish. But I promise, there is a valid reason that she has his baby without knowing that he is her child's father--and Rule's decision to hide the truth eventually gets him into some seriously hot water with Sydney.
Recipe: Best Chicken Noodle Soup EverI know, I know. We all think of chicken soup as a winter thing. But I like it in April, too. I like it year-round. Especially this recipe. It essentially takes two days—because you have to make the broth first and then cool it to skim off the fat. But it really is a simple process. And it is soooo good. Enjoy!
--Christine Rimmer , www.ChristineRimmer.com
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium carrots sliced into quarter-inch rounds
3 celery stalks, CUT into quarter-inch slices
1 (5 ½ to 7-pound) chicken
2 quarts chicken broth
Up to 1 quart cold water
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
5 sprigs fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups egg noodles
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Cut the chicken into 8 pieces. (Yes, you can buy an already cut-up chicken. Just be sure it still has bones and skin and don’t cut off any extra fat. The fat adds flavor and then you skim it away later.) And of course, always be careful to wash hands, cutting tools and surfaces thoroughly after handling poultry.
Heat the oil over medium heat in a stockpot. Add onions, carrots and celery. Cook, stirring often, until soft, approximately 10 minutes.
Add the chicken pieces to the sautéed veggies and pour in the broth. Add enough cold water to cover veggies and chicken by about 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat and skim off the foam that rises to the surface. Add the parsley, thyme and bay leaf (You will remove these later, so if you tie them together or bag them in culinary cheesecloth, removal is easier). Reduce heat to low and simmer until the chicken is very tender, about 2 hours. (I put the lid on for this. My mother always simmered the soup uncovered. Your choice).
Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard parsley, bay leaf and thyme. Degrease the soup. (If you don’t mind skimming it hot, that’s fine—or if you have one of those fat-separating cups, even better. I like to chill the broth and the chicken overnight and then put the broth in the freezer for a few hours the next morning. The fat is thick and floating by then and easy to spoon off.)
Discard the chicken skin and bones and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. Add the noodles and cook according to instructions on the noodle package (3-10 minutes). Stir the chicken back into the soup, add salt and pepper to taste, serve hot.
The soup will be good refrigerated for four days or so. You can freeze it for up to three months. Makes 12-15 servings