10.09.2006

Chicken 'n Noodles (wicked fast)

soupA neighbor of ours makes the absolute best chicken and noodles we have ever had the luxury of tasting. She makes her own noodles and even invited me to witness this stupendous dish being prepared. There's really no big secret. She made a tender noodle using flour, some oil, water, salt and hand rolled them. No biggie. The chicken soup was also nothing secretive. A good stock derived from a bone-in chicken, veggies, etc. I kept looking for the secret ingredient. She told me it was the Knorr's cube she used. No matter how hard I looked, I couldn't find anything unconventional that made her soup so special. I left after the tutorial. A few days later, we were talking about the soup again and she mentioned "oh yeah, and a stick of butter" (was added towards the end of cooking). Bingo.

She essentially "mounts" the soup with butter. I don't think this is mounting as it's usually used, but the end result is still decadent richness.

The other day while driving Frankie to school, she requested chicken 'n noodles for dinner. I thought, great, a weeknight and all I have is some frozen boneless chicken in the freezer and some dry noodles in the cupboard. Butter to the rescue and voila! A wonderful fast chicken and noodles in a flash was born. We use it pretty often now and is it yummy.

Quick Chicken and Noodles
onion, 1, chopped,
garlic, a few slivers
olive oil, about 1-2 T
carrots, a bunch, chopped
1-2 chicken breasts, frozen, boneless
water, ca. 2-2.5 quarts
parsley, dried, 1T
salt, 2t
pepper, to taste
oregano, dried, 2t
egg noodles, most brands are good, 1/2 lb, dried
butter, 3T

Saute onions, garlic, carrots a few minutes, toss in hunks of frozen chicken and water, parsley, salt, pepper and oregano; bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove chicken and chop, return to pot. Drop in noodles and continue simmering 10-15 minutes. Finally, stir in butter and serve. The butter takes care of all your shortcuts (boneless breasts, no stock, etc.) and since we don't throw in gobs of it, it's not even that unhealthy since it yields at least 4 healthy servings. Enjoy.

6 comments:

Eric said...

Hmmm, butter? Never, would have thought of that. Although now that I think about it, I can see how it would help. Probably adds some substance to the mouthfeel, and of course the buttery taste!

Another short cut that I have used, is using the rotisserie chickens from the supermarket. Remove and shread all the meat and set aside. Place all the bones and skin (option) into a large pot along with some veggies, cover with low-sodium chicken broth. Bring to a simmer and simmer for an hour or so, then filter.

I feel guilty using this short cut, but it a great way of getting chicken noodle on the table in less than 90 minutes.

Dave said...

Hey Eric,
Yeah, the butter adds immensely satisfying mouthfeel. You would absolutely die if you had my neighbor's brew. You could actually eat until you got sick.

And, we are BIG fans of the supermarket rotisserie chicken. Just can't beat it for 5 bucks. That, some quick steamed green beans, rice and voila, a meal.

drbiggles said...

Shaw! Serve soup in bowl, lump of butter to finish. Very French you know.

Biggles

dave said...

I guess butter just can't really hurt anything. Should've been obvious.

Anonymous said...

I'm kinda curious about her homemade noodle recipe--is it really without eggs? My ds has egg allergy and I always make him chicken soup but throw dried pasta in. A homemade noodle might spice things up a bit--great blog btw!

dave said...

Hey Anonymous, Thanks for the comment. You can make a pretty darn good noodle without eggs. A good basic dough for pasta/noodles is simply a cup of flour, ca. 1-2 t olive oil, 1/4 t salt and enough water to make it ball up to a stiff dough. Let rest and roll out.

But, if you're a busy parent, there's a ton of great quality noodles in the supermarket these days (eggless ones too).