Saturday, March 28, 2009

SPRING HAS SPRUNG

Spring has sprung but someone forgot to tell our friends out West. Blogging friends from Illinois, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado are reporting more snow. Poor Midlife Slices is stuck in Oklahoma when she really wants to be in Texas. Don't hate me but as I write this the sun is shining and it's in the 80s. From where I sit I can see My Harley Stud occasionally walking past the front windows doing some much-needed yard work as a "break" from the project he is working on. Would it make you feel better if I said I'm stuck inside working on our tax preparation?

My head is spinning from number crunching so I thought I would take a little break. My mind wandered to my friends out West who are not feeling the effects of Spring yet. This brought comfort food to mind. When the going gets cold, I always turn to comfort food. The good, old fashioned Midwestern delights my Grandma use to serve. We had our own cold snap awhile back and I whipped up some chicken and noodles. I thought it might be a good time to share my recipe. It doesn't have to be cold outside to enjoy this carb-LOADED treat, it will warm the cockles of your heart regardless. And Janie, if you don't really care for this dish, you could always spread it across the highway to melt the snow as you go.


This recipe is a quickie version of what my Grandmother used to serve on a regular basis. She had eight children and raised them during the Great Depression. The dish is very pocket-book friendly. It definitely qualifies for a Money in the Bank post so I'll
have to remember to link
myself.

Measuring when cooking isn't my thing. If you are a person who requires exact amounts for a recipe, you should probably skip anything I have to offer. When I give a measurement, I'm guessing. I'm at my best in the kitchen when I can just feel my way through. Sometimes there is more of one thing and another time less of another. No two dishes are the same but they are usually good. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think.





Chicken and Noodles

1 Rotisserie chicken (skinned and boned, meat shredded)
2-3 Carrots (chopped)
2-3 Stalks of celery (chopped)
1/2 large onion (chopped)
Olive oil - a swirl around the pan
2 boxes of chicken stock
1 package homemade noodles
salt and pepper to taste
fresh or dried thyme to taste. (I will use poultry seasoning if I don't have thyme)

***The following photographs are taken while standing on my toes. I'm short and the pan is tall. I apologize if they are a little fuzzy. I'll have to work more on my balance in yoga class.***

Start by sauteing the the vegetables in olive oil until tender. Grandma's recipe didn't include any vegetables. I like how they add color, texture and flavor to the dish. Sorry, Gramma. It doesn't hurt to have the added nutrients either. :-)

Once the veggies are tender, add the shredded chicken and I usually season with the salt, pepper and thyme at this point. You can make this dish by stewing your own chicken or using left-overs, of course. I can assure you that my grandmother NEVER bought a rotisserie chicken.

I usually prefer to use stock instead of broth as I think it gives a greater depth to the flavor. I use two of these boxes.
When I went to the store to get the chicken stock, this chicken broth was on sale as a buy one, get one. I quickly made an executive decision to scrap my original choice in favor of the bigger, better deal. No one except me was the wiser. My grandmother would use the stock she made from the original chicken. Both ways are good, my quick version makes up in convenience and time whatever might be lost in Grandma's "from scratch" way. Gramma didn't work the hours (outside the home) that I do. I think she would be proud of me still. :-)


Add the chicken stock/broth and stir. Bring to a boil and add the noodles.
Bring to a boil again and then lower to simmer.
Continue to taste and season as you go.


This groovy little bag of noodle love may not look like much to you. I only use home-made noodles. I can get away with adding a few veggies but I'm sure that poor Gramma would roll over in her grave if she knew I used store bought noodles. Sadly, I don't have the recipe for my grandmother's noodles. My cousin, the long, lost blogger has it. Gramma must have loved her more. *pout* I'm forced to "import" my noodles from the Egg Lady in Indiana via my father. (This dish becomes even more economical when Daddy buys the noodles.) There is a woman on a chicken farm in Indiana near our home town that makes home-made egg noodles and sells them. My mother always bought her noodles. Now Daddy buys them once a year and shares them with me. If you're feeling ambitious and want to try your hand at making them yourself, check out my cousin's blog. She didn't post the recipe but tells about the process. There are just a few ingredients and if you really want to try it, I'm sure she would email you the recipe. Right, cousin? I'm going to have to get it myself too. I'm not sure I'll ever make them but I think it's just wrong that I don't have it. *pouting again* I thought the Egg Lady was really old when I lived in Indiana. I can't imagine how old she is now. I'm thinking 125, maybe.

I'm not foolish enough to think that all or maybe even any of you are going to take a whack at making your own noodles, (have you checked the drying process?) or that you're going to call the Egg Lady. Store bought noodles will work just fine in this recipe. Just don't tell me, OK? I might not get over it.


This photograph was taken after the noodles had been simmering for awhile. They will continue to thicken the broth as they soften. The longer you cook them, the thicker they get.

I know that most people are going to think we Hoosiers have lost our minds but when everything is ready, we serve this yummy concoction over mashed potatoes. Yeah, yeah, I hear ya, already.
Add a salad and you'll feel better about yourself. Yeast rolls or parkerhouse rolls are also a must. Serve them hot with lots of butter.

Hey, I said it was cheap and delicious. I didn't say anything about healthy!

This dish doesn't look so appealing. The colors are too bland. I could have jazzed it up with some fresh parsley but Gramma never did it that way.

Enjoy.

Hugs,
SMB

25 comments:

The Blue Ridge Gal said...

Looks delish SMB. And adding the veggies is a great idea... looks like a good hot dish on a cold day or maybe when you're not feeling well... chicken cures all as far as I am concerned... Thanks for sharing this.

Di
The Blue Ridge Gal

only a movie said...

Looks yummy. I have never seen homemade egg noodles. I love store-bought egg noodles, so I'm sure I would love the homemade once too.

Wicked yummy comfort food, SMB. Thanks for the recipe. My child just informed me that he is thinking about eating chicken again (he has been vegetarian for 2009, short-lived, maybe), so I may try this.

midlifeslices said...

That's a lot like my chicken noodle recipe only I have to leave out the celery and onions or I'd be the only one partaking. I buy the frozen "homemade" egg noodles and they are big and wide and oh so yummy.

I actually have all the ingredients to make this but since it's just me, I guess I'll pass. Snow melted about 4 but I was taking a nap and then decided it was too late to start gathering my stuff so I'm shooting for early in the a.m.

Thanks for thinking about me. muah!

blueviolet said...

Ummmm....how can you expect us not to hate you with 80 degree weather. You're simply asking too much.


My hubby doesn't measure anything when he cooks either. It makes me crazy because I can never duplicate a thing.

Auntie, aka cagny said...

What's up, SMB?
There is nothing better than homemade chicken soup. Celery is the perfect ingredient for chicken soup.
I enjoy adding cilantro too, to just about anything.
Thanks!

Debbie said...

Measuring is very overrated.

JOE TODD said...

My wife made made chicken and noodles very similar to this. She used a slow cooker recipe.we get a lot of our recipes from
http://allrecipes.com/
also used home made amish noodles

thanks Joe Todd

Beth said...

I always have loved chicken and noodles (or dumplings as my grandmother would make). Great comfort food. And great with a few dashes of green Tobasco sauce.

Fragrant Liar said...

Mmmmm Mmmmm good! If only it was 40 degrees and snowing here. Today we're having Texas barbecue and fresh salads. It's 65 degrees now and may get to 80 degrees by BBQ time. We are in heaven with red buds and wisteria in a blooming fiesta! Sending the kids outside to play as I type. Daughter is repotting plants on the back deck and rearranging the patio furniture. Oh how I love spring in Austin.

Reader Wil said...

I believe you are a wonderful cook! As I am alone most of the time, I cook very simple food and for more than two days. I put a lot in the deep freezer.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Di-I agree, chicken soup or chicken and noodles will cure what ails ya.

Movie-That would be great. It would be hard for me to convert although I'm not like MHS who has to have meat or doesn't consider it a meal.
A real meat and potatoes guy, he is.

MLS-MHS prefers it without the veggies because that is the way we had it growing up but I make him eat them anyway. They're good for him, you know.

BV-Sorry about the good weather. It's raining now. Does that make it better? Your hubby sounds like my kinda cook.

Auntie-My family loves cilantro but would squawk if I put it in this dish. I'm pushing it by adding the veggies.

Debbie-I couldn't agree more.

Joe-My dad just told me about the Amish noodles. I'm sure they would be great. I guess you can buy them frozen? I have to confess: If I had to make them, I would switch to store bought............or just make it a project like my cousin does. They do store nicely.

Beth-I don't know why no one in my family ever made the noodles fat (dumplings) but I've had them that way and love them. This was a common dish in my cafeteria at school all the time I was growing up. Our cafeteria workers were all farmers wives and we ate very well.

Liar-I'm so glad you're feeling the Spring weather. Enjoy your BBQ and save the chicken recipe for the fall.

Wil-This is a very easy recipe and freezes quite nicely. It never lasts that long in my house tho.

steppinthru said...

Mashed potatoes, huh! Never tried that but the chicken & noodle recipe sounds like mine. I use the frozen egg noodles and really like them. Never tried to make my own.
I'm jealous about the nice weather although today is bright and sunny and the snow is melted. It's still windy.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Well, I am now officialy hungry. Looks absolutley delicious SMB.

I just finished our taxes a couple days ago. I feel for you.

Kathy said...

mmmmmmmm tasty. Looks good! And I'm glad spring has sprung somewhere - it was snowing/raining/sunny here this weekend. Yep! Welcome to Michigan! LOL

Beth Niquette said...

Not appealing?! Oh, my goodness...I'm SO hungry! (Grin)

You are such a darling--I love the stories of your Grandmother. My grandmother on Dad's side raised nine children during the depression. Amazing women, weren't they?

Thank you for sharing this recipe, and with pictures! OOoooh! (salivating now) Thank you!

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

Homemade noodles! There is little that is better. They are wonderful. We just had something similar last night for dinner. I think one of the best parts is smelling it cooking! I had no idea you could buy "homemade" noodles! Mine are..um..straight from the..store? I love chicken and noodle and yours looks wonderful!! (sides' it's good for my co'd!" :)
Hugs,
Mona

Smart Mouth Broad said...

ST-I know. It's a lot of starch. But we like it that way. Starting tomorrow, I won't be eating like that for awhile. Gotta do something and I'm giving South Beach Diet a whirl......again. *sigh*

Pseudo-And it tastes great too. My head is spinning from numbers, numbers and more numbers. And I don't even do the taxes. I just do the prep work for the accountant. This year I'm going to stay on top of it better. Uh huh. That's what I keep tellin myself.

Kathy-I wish I could send you some. Just say no to snow.

BethN-Yes, they were amazing. There is a story there to tell but sadly, I think most of the details are lost.

Mona-I wasn't aware until just recently that you can buy frozen Amish noodles. Which are supposed to be just like homemade.

Jan said...

OH. YUM.

I have a great homemade egg noodle recipe, if you want it.

nothingfancy1 said...

SMB - That looks simply delicious!

Sadly, I'll be the first to admit that I 1) am a terrible cook (2) hate to cook and (3) am a lazy cook. Then to top it all off...H's allergies limit me to about 3 things that he can and will eat. Sigh.

Tricia said...

You're right...this looks good regardless of the weather. So glad you're enjoying some sunshine!!

Debbie said...

I have had the flu and cold for a few days and I wish I had seen this before I bought a big spiral ham on sale yesterday! I definitely will copy and keep on file for future use though. Looks like you are an excellent cook! I enjoy cooking too. Homemade noodles sounds delish! Oops...i feel a big sneeze coming on and it goes on forever...bye for now.:(

Slick said...

You know all recipes are like written in spanish to me. I can't read them.

It's instinct for survival kicking in I do believe.

But I'll always take the finished project.

Save me a place at the table SMB!! :)

Smart Mouth Broad said...

Jan-I would love it. Probably won't do it but would love to have it just because. *grin* I made your blueberry muffins this weekend. To die for.

Fancy-Come on down. I'll make ya some.

Tricia-It's a lovely day here. Sadly there will be no noodles in my near future because I'm hauling my arse back to the gym and going back to the South Beach Diet.

Debbie-Poor baby. Bless you!

Slick-I've missed you! How the heck are you? Are you back? Oh and you can catch a ride with Nothing Fancy. I'll put a pot on special.

Oz Girl said...

Sounds really good right about now... when we get the power back, I'll have to give it a whirl. :)

I'm about TIRED of intermittent DSL and the constant hum, or DRONE, of the generator outside the living room window. SIGH.

I guess I am thankful we have the generator, but I just want my electric back!! WAHHH!

croneandbearit said...

It looks and sounds yummy - we were cold here in OH today and so we hit the comfort spaghetti! Brrrr....