Friday, October 09, 2009
Cold days and chicken noodle soup....
NOAA Weather Service chart. Click to enlarge.
It's mighty cold up here in the North -- just 22 degrees with blustery snow squalls and winds of about 20 mph. According to the wind chill chart, which I keep handy for quick reference, the wind chill temperature for us right now is a whopping 4 degrees. My potted geraniums are in the garage waiting for a few more nice fall days. I don't give up easily and I won't give up on fall yet, but as for today, it's a good day to be indoors by the fire baking and making homemade chicken noodle soup. I don't really have a set recipe for this, but it's really not a very difficult meal to make.
Just set a whole chicken or chicken parts (with skin) in a large pot to simmer along with a few peppercorns, salt, and a bay leaf. Cook until the meat of the chicken is falling off the bone. Scoop out the meat with the bones and sort it well, throwing away the bones and skin and any other undesirable things. Put the meat back into the pot and add chopped celery, carrots, onion, garlic and herbs like thyme and parsley or celery seed. You may need to add more water to the pot and if you want to, you might like to add some chicken base or bouillon to the broth according to your tastes. I do. Simmer until the veggies are tender. In the meantime you will want to start your noodles. You can use prepackaged noodles that are just like homemade, or you can make them easily.
I don't fuss as much as the recipes for homemade noodles require, in fact, I'm quite lazy about it. I make the noodle dough, roll it out on a floured counter top, slice the dough into thin strips with a pizza cutter and let them sit to dry just a little. Some noodle recipes require you to air dry the noodles all day long, but I just don't want to do that, so I don't. Once the veggies are tender, you are ready to add the noodles. Make sure that you bring the broth up to a rolling boil. Carefully add the noodles, a few at a time, making sure they go under the rolling current of the broth. Add until all the noodles are in the broth, cover, reduce the heat and simmer about 10-15 minutes. Taste the noodles to make sure they are done.
Serve it up hot with fresh bread & butter or some rustic crackers and a glass of cold milk.
2 c. flour (white or whole wheat pastry)
2 t. salt
1/4 to 1/2 c. milk
Make a well in the center of the flour. Add eggs and salt. Mix thoroughly. Mix in milk, a little at a time until dough is stiff but easy to roll. Roll out on a floured cupboard as thin as possible (like pie crust). Cut noodles with a pizza cutter and allow them to dry out somewhat on the counter. Cook noodles in approximately 3 quarts boiling salted water (1 T.) until tender. About 12 to 15 minutes. Drain and add to soup or other recipes.
*I add my noodles directly to my soup pot, but you can do it separately.
*Sometimes I drop this dough by spoonfuls into my soups for a hard dumpling. For dumplings, you will want a softer dough than for noodles so you may add more milk and a pinch of baking powder.