Tried and Tuesday: Grandma’s Chicken and Noodles

Homemade Chicken and NoodlesI know this Tried and Tuesday thing has turned into a food blog, but recently food is what I’ve been trying!  I promise I’ll do something else someday.  But for today, I have to give you a little Fall preview with my Grandma’s (and mom’s) homemade chicken and noodles recipe.

The story behind Grandma’s chicken and noodles is this:  One time my Grandma and Grandpa were at a friend’s house and someone suggested having chicken and noodles.  Said-friend made the comment, “Oh, no.  We can’t have chicken and noodles… it’s after 9 o’ clock.”  As the story goes, my Grandma replied, “Well, yes we can!” and hopped to making those egg noodles from scratch.  They dried just in time for supper, and after that day it was always Leane’s job to make the chicken and noodles.

20130908_171409Now, I don’t know if she always used Betty Crocker’s recipe, but by the time I came along, that was how the women in my family made them and, subsequently, that’s how I make them.  The old red Betty Crocker cookbook from the 70’s.  I am blessed to have received my Grandma’s copy, which is a good thing because I was about to steal my mom’s. (after writing this blog, I realize they did NOT follow the directions exactly… so our egg noodle recipe is based on Betty Crocker’s… even better!)

I won’t kid you.  It’s a lot of work.  It takes time.  It takes a few basic resources.  But it’s a simple meal that is warm, hearty, yummy, and did I mention it’s delicious?!  Even my Pickle had two bowls, and she was a great helper- rolling out the noodles and seasoning the chicken.

First things first, you need a chicken.  A whole chicken.  And you need eggs.  Four.  So if you live on a chicken farm, this should be a piece of cake.

It really makes a lot of sense to make the noodles the night before.

I, of course, never have the foresight to do that.  So you can make these in the morning.  But whatever you do, they need to sit out a long, long time (or you can cheat and put them outside in the sun OR in a very very low heated oven).  I think my grandma’s trick was rolling them out SOOOOoooooo thin that they didn’t need very long to dry.  Me… not so skilled.  Even though I have her rolling pin, too, you’d think some of that womanly muscle would’ve rubbed off.

The morning you want to eat them, put your chicken in a crock pot and let it do it’s magic.  Yes.  The whole chicken.  Cram it in   there- a little water, salt, pepper, garlic, herbs, whatever you like on your chicken- and let it cook20130908_171432_edit0

all.

day.

long.

To make your noodles, follow the recipe below. (or in your own copy of the big red book)

I sometimes sub in a little wheat flour just because I’m obsessed with using wheat flour in everything.  I convince myself it’s healthy, but the noodles don’t turn out nearly as soft and slurpy as when you just use good ‘ol all purpose white flour… like my Grandma did.

Once your noodles are dry and your chicken is cooked through, tear it to pieces.

Really.  Get the meat off those bones.

Tear it to pieces and put it in a large pot with all of the stock you just made along with it. (note: for my family of two and a half I use a whole batch of noodles and only half a chicken… and we still have leftovers)

Chicken and a block of frozen, homemade chicken stock. Yum!

Add in another cup or so of chicken stock.  I’ll take this moment again to recommend making your own stock!  Anytime you have leftover chicken, chicken bones, onions, celery, etc, throw it in a freezer bag until you have enough to fill your crock pot.  It will be worth it when you want to make this dish!  (You know those rotisseries chickens you can buy hot at the store?  The carcass works great!)

Toss in a cube of boullion.  Just because.  Stir in your noodles and bring to a boil.  Keep stirring often so your noodles don’t clump together.  Keep two cups of water close by.  As your noodles absorb the chicken stock, you’ll need to keep adding liquid until they are soft.  Keep covered on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until noodles have reached desired tenderness.

As it cooks, the flour and salt from the homemade noodles will season and thicken the liquid, so I never feel the need to add salt.  You, however, can season to taste.

It’s great served over mashed potatoes.  With homemade bread.  Or stir in some peas to give it a pop of color and nutrients.

Then scoop up a dish and let yourself be transported back to a warm family kitchen on a crisp Fall day!  (even if it’s 80 degrees outside)

Homemade Egg Noodles: From Betty Crocker’s Kitchen… sort of.

Ingredients:

2 C Flour     2 tsp salt     3 egg YOLKS

1 whole egg     1/4-1/2 C cold water

Directions:

Measure flour into bowl; make a well in center and add egg yolks, whole egg and salt.  With hands, thoroughly mix egg into flour.  Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. (Add only enough water to form dough into a ball.)

Turn dough onto well-floured cloth-covered board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.  Cover; let rest 10 minutes. (I never do this… I ought to)

Divide dough into 4 equal parts.  Roll dough, 1 part at a time, into paper-thin rectangles, keeping remaining dough covered as you work.

The directions say to wrap them loosely around a rolling pin, remove rolling pin, cut into thin noodles (or thick), shake loose and let dry about 2 hours.

Hmmm… I don’t know if we’ve ever read the directions!  My mom and grandma let them sit out in rectangular sheets all day, cutting them while they were still a little soft, but on their way to hard.  I may have to try it Betty Crocker’s way.  If you do it, let me know how it works out!

Good luck!

NOTE:  Be wise with the noodles.  They are made from raw egg, you know.  (The dough is delicious, but you didn’t hear it from me!)  And it works best if you mix them with your hands.  Promise.  This recipe also works great for leftover chicken or turkey!  You’ll just need to add extra chicken stock to keep it moist!

 

You may also like:

Homemade French Peasant Bread How to make Ratatouille

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