Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Chicken Noodle Soup
Chicken noodle soup, ultimate comfort food? I think so. Not so long ago I came down with a pretty good upper respiratory infection, well that was self diagnosed, but I'm pretty sure that's what it was. With mountains of used Kleenex piling up around me I lay snuggled up in bed until my husband came in asking if I needed anything. I threw a, we'll call it small, temper tantrum. I just wanted my dad or my brother to make me some soup. My husband just looked at me, as pathetic as my fit was, he still offered to make me Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles are in no way a comparison to chicken noodle soup. And by no means am I talking about canned here. Even the noodles are home made.
I made this back when I lived with my brother on a pretty regular basis, and even a few times back with my parents, too. My husband tried it once, he 'doesn't like dark meat' and thinks 'the noodles are weird'. Well, I'll have you know that my husband ate the soup tonight with no complaints! He even said the noodles were good! I think he's just a pathological food complainer.
I think just about everyone in the family on my dad's side has made this once. We all seem to have a slightly different version, but it's all pretty close. This is a recipe where nothing is measured so, I'll try my best.
My best friend loves this soup. What's better than mashed potatoes and gravy? Mashed potatoes smothered in homemade chicken noodle soup. Most people crinkle their noses up at us when we explain the mashed potatoes in the bottom of the bowl, until they try it. Ultimate comfort food.
I'm used to making a pot so large it could make twelve large men's bellies explode with homemade chicken-y goodness. Creating this for two wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. Well, not for someone like me, you know, master chef and all.
I've never measured this so, work with me. I just cut down the amount of stuff I normally would throw into a huge pot, and did the exact same thing in my smaller pot. I filled it about 1/3 of the way full with water and set on stove on high. Add a bit of garlic powder, and chicken bouillon, this is definitely a season to taste sort of meal. Normally, we use bone-in chicken and cook it then remove the bones, piece the chicken and add it back to the pot. I only had boneless-skinless chicken breasts so I used one and cooked it, and then pulled it out to pull apart and throw it back in. I cut 3 stocks of celery and 2 large carrots (although add the carrots when you add the noodles so that they don't cook to mush). You want the celery to cook down, so add that with your seasonings in the beginning. Once you've added the noodles and carrots, allow them to cook through and then set your stove down to simmer until you're ready to serve. Again, serving over mashed potatoes makes this meal for our family!
Noodles: Make a shallow pit in a pile of flour. I used about 2-3 cups. Crack 2 eggs into the middle of the pile. It should look similar to this.
With a fork, begin mixing eggs in a circular motion, keeping the walls of the pile up, push the flour up for reinforcement if needed. While stirring in circular motion, continue to mix flour from sides into the egg mixture. This will last a couple of minutes until a ball of dough is finally formed. Again, it should look like this.
Flour your surface and rolling pin. Roll dough out to about 1/4 of an inch.
Take your pizza cutter and cut into strips. You can be sloppy, we don't make them into square strips by any means. Then cut across a few times so that your noodles are not 2 feet long. Your noodle will expand, a lot, so don't worry if some of them look small.
Once cut, gather together and sift with remaining flour on counter to ensure your noodles are not gooey and sticking together. Then, sift extra flour out of your pile of noodles by tossing back and forth in your hands. Place noodles into your soup and allow to cook until cooked through and they stop floating at the top of your soup.
This soup is even better as left overs. It thickens up a lot over night, but I know my brother and I always ate up the leftovers the following day for lunch!