Gina's Chicken and Noodles
4 quarts chicken broth, divided
1 tablespoon chicken soup base (or to taste)
1 onion, peeled and cut in eighths
2 large carrots, scrubbed and cut into large chunks
2 celery stalks, cut into large chunks
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1 family-size can cream of chicken soup
1 24 oz. package Reame's frozen egg noodles
2 cups cream or half-and-half
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
(I do this the night before I want to have chicken and noodles.) Place the chicken along with two quarts of broth, the soup base, the veggies, and the bay leaves and peppercorns in the crock pot. Cook for about four hours on high (or all day/overnight on low). When the chicken is tender, remove it from the crock pot and refrigerate. Strain the stock through a sieve, then refrigerate that, too.
The next day, de-fat the cooked and chilled stock, then combine it with the other two quarts of broth, and bring all the liquid to a boil in a large stock pot. Whisk in the cream of chicken soup until mostly smooth and return to a boil. Add in the frozen noodles and bring back to a boil, stirring to separate. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the noodles are sufficiently tender.
Meanwhile, remove the skin and bones from the chicken and break the meat into large chunks. When the noodles are tender, stir in the chicken, the cream, and the fresh parsley, and cook on low until heated through (don't boil). Correct the seasonings if necessary, then serve piping hot in large bowls.
*If you want the authentic Midwestern carbo-loading experience, serve over homemade mashed potatoes.