One-Pot Creamy Chicken Mac Soup
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Yields: Serves 6
 
Rich and creamy macaroni soup with bits of browned chicken - all made in one pot.
Ingredients
  • cooking oil
  • 250g chicken thigh fillet (see notes below)
  • 1 medium white or red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 small cauliflower, stems removed and chopped
  • 6 cups of water, divided
  • 200g small elbow macaroni or penne, uncooked (see notes below)
  • 8 ounces (240ml) heavy cream
  • 90g cheddar cheese (half bar), cut into tiny cubes (add more if desired)
  • salt and ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Add oil to a nonstick pot/casserole, enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Semi-fry (see notes below) one side of the chicken meat for at least 3 minutes, sprinkle the side facing up with salt and pepper. Once brown, flip the other side and season the browned side facing up with salt and pepper, cook for another 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate without paper towel because we need the drippings of the chicken. Cut into bite size pieces.
  2. In the same pot with the remaining oil, sauté onions for 2 minutes. Add carrots, cook for 2 minutes. Add cauliflower, cook for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer into a bowl/plate and set aside.
  3. In the same pot, add 3 cups of water and uncooked macaroni noodles. Cook while stirring occasionally until macaroni is al dente and water has reduced to 1 cup (approx.)
  4. Add the remaining 3 cups of water, chicken and vegetables and bring to a boil. Turn the stove to low heat then pour heavy cream, stir until well combined. Add half of the cheese and season with salt and pepper if needed.
  5. Top with remaining cheese before serving (add more if desired).
Notes
Semi-frying: Do not overcook the chicken. We want the outer slightly fried or toasted yet tender and juicy when you cut it with knife. I usually cook each side for 3 minutes on medium heat for nonstick pots and low heat for ceramic-coated pots.

Elbow macaroni and penne are best suited for this recipe. I've tried both and the soup base is always thick. The type of noodle you see in the photos is "vegeroni" which I do not recommend here. The vegeroni cooks faster than regular noodles, and it's already cooked even before the boiling water is reduced therefore you will end up with a lot of water resulting to runny soup base. Goal for thicker soup: The boiling water should be reduced to at least (approx.) 1 cup by the time the noodles are cooked (al dente) and before adding the remaining water.
Recipe by When Hungry at http://whenhungry.com/2017/02/21/one-pot-creamy-chicken-mac-soup/