February 20, 2015

Chicken and Noodles

 A lot of my childhood memories at my Grandparents' house involve food. My grandma could make a meal out of anything. One of my most favorite foods she cooked was Chicken and Noodles served over mashed potatoes. I have seriously tried for years to make this just like Grandma did, but have never been able to get it quite like hers.  One regret I have is that I was never in the kitchen when she made this wonderful meal. This is the closest I've ever gotten. If I would've called her up today she couldn't have even given me the recipe. It would've been almost identical to the way my mom gave it to me when I called her up for the umpteenth time saying I was going to try and make Grandma's Chicken and Noodles... again, and this time I was going to get it right! So there is no recipe for this meal. Just try and follow what I say and do as I say because if you don't, it won't be like Grandma's! :)

Rinse off a whole chicken and place it in a large stock pot and cover with water. Add 1 heaping Tablespoon of salt- ya all of it. This is where I wanted to not do it like Grandma, then I realized, maybe that's why it never turns out like hers because I don't do it like her! Put the lid on and bring to a boil. Boil the chicken for a good 30 minutes. Take the chicken out of the pot and let it cool before  removing all the meat.
 There will be a little grey scum around the edges and in the broth. Wipe it off and scoop it out. But leave everything else.
 Make your noodles while the chicken cools. The number of eggs you use depends on how many people you are feeding. I was going to use four, saw an extra one and added it. Then I noticed a cracked one so I ended up with six eggs. These are eggs from our hens, so that's why my noodles are a little more on the yellowy side. Grandma's were not so yellow. Half a teaspoon of salt and around 3 cups of flour. Only you can determine the amount of flour based on the humidity or lack thereof. You want a soft dough, but one you can handle and work with. Spray the counter with non stick spray, then cover well with flour. Roll out your dough. Flour the top well. Cut it in half and stack it on top. Flour the top again and repeat, stacking as you go.
 I could've rolled them out a little thinner. Stack them up and then using a sharp flat edged knife to cut them into skinny strips of noodles. If there is enough flour between layers they will come apart rather easily. If not, well you'll just have to take some extra time to peel them apart.
 Leave them in a heaping pile with plenty of flour while you debone the chicken.
 Now bring your broth up to a rolling boil. Add one bouillon cube for added flavor. Slowly add handfuls of noodles and stir constantly until they are all cooked.
 Now add your chicken. Then salt and pepper to taste. You may also add flour mixed with water to thicken it to your liking. I always find myself saying, "There's not a vegetable in this soup, I must add a vegetable!" But tonight I did not, I made it like Grandma. Grandpa didn't want onions or celery, so Grandma didn't put them in there. This is Chicken and Noodles for crying out loud- you don't need a vegetable!!!! If it's Grandma's recipe then it's all healthy.... right?!
Serve over mashed potatoes. There. There's your vegetable. Potatoes. It still wasn't exactly like Grandma's, but it's the closest I've ever gotten.  There may or may not be tears in the noodles as I rolled them out thinking of her maybe sitting across from me telling me I was doing just fine. "Sumer Girl" she would call me. I guess some things just can't be replicated. My Grandma's Chicken and Noodles is one of them. Sure do miss that wonderful woman.

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