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Cook the vegetables. Warm 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium heat in the Dutch oven or soup pot until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, and carrots with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables just start to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Clear a space in the middle of the pan and add the garlic. Cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds, then stir the garlic into the vegetables.
Sear the chicken. Remove the skin from the chicken thighs, but leave the bone in. (Boneless chicken thighs are also fine in this recipe, but the bones add richness to the broth.) Move the vegetables to the edges of the pan and warm the remaining 1 teaspoon oil in the middle of the pan. When hot, add the chicken thighs, fitting them into a single layer. It's ok if they are snug. Cook without moving until the underside is golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Flip and sear the other side until golden.
Add the broth and simmer. Add the bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Pour in 1 quart of the broth. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes.
Shred the chicken. Move the pot off the heat and transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon. Use 2 forks to pull the meat apart into shreds (or chop into cubes). Remove and discard any bones. It's ok if the meat is still a little pink in the middle at this point.
Cook the pasta. Bring a separate pot of water to a boil for the pasta. When boiling, salt the water generously and add the pasta. Cook until the pasta is barely al dente and the drain. (Alternatively, add the second quart of broth to the soup, bring to a simmer, and cook the pasta in the soup itself.)
Finish the soup. Return the shredded chicken to the soup and bring to a simmer. If the chicken wasn't quite finished cooking, continue simmering until it has cooked through. Add the noodles to the soup. If a thinner broth is desired, add additional chicken broth. Remove the bay leaf. Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as needed. Remove from heat and serve.