Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Chicken Broth (Chicken & Noodles)

Chicken broth: Nectar of the gods. It is the epitome of comfort food, either by itself, or as a base for another recipe. I'll confess that I typically use boxed or canned broth for my recipes; I'm neither a bona fide foodie nor an ingredient snob. However, when I'm thinking about homemade chicken and noodles, I go for the whole nine yards, shebang, enchilada, ball of wax, kit and kaboodle (I think you probably get the

Homemade chicken broth/stock

2-3 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken
3 quarts water, add more as chicken boils
3 bay leaves
2 stalks celery with leaves, halved
1 carrot, quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 onion, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. each, dried sage, thyme and parsley
1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
moderate amount of salt and pepper... to your liking

Place all of the above in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove chicken, cool, and debone. Return bones to pot and boil for another 30-45 minutes. Strain broth. Pour broth in container and add deboned chicken if using for the recipe below. Chill and skim fat from surface before using.

This usually gives me about two quarts of fairly gelatinous broth, which gives the finished chicken and noodles a very nice and creamy consistency.

The Noodles

I actually went all out for this (because I had the time) and made my own noodles. I know, I know... I need to get a life. I purchased a pasta maker for my Kitchen Aid mixer a few years back and it's been collecting dust for awhile now. I figured if I make noodles once a week until I die, I might be able justify the $100 I spent on it. The picture below is of my noodles drying nicely on the counter. If I'm using store-bought noodles, I always buy Amish noodles (usually located in the bakery section of the store.) They're so much more flavorful and heartier than the ones in the pasta aisle (Mueller's, etc.)

Chicken and Noodles

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup finely diced carrot
1 cup finely diced celery/and leaves
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 quarts good quality chicken broth (I actually had to add an extra can of broth this time)
4 cups cooked, shredded chicken
12-16 oz. egg noodles

In soup pot heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until onions become translucent and mushrooms lose their moisture (5-6 minutes.) Add garlic and continue to saute for another minute. Add broth and return heat to high. Once boiling, turn heat down a bit and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 15 minutes. Return heat to high and add chicken and noodles after boiling begins. Reduce heat to medium and boil until noodles are tender. This will vary depending on the size of the noodle, and whether you're using fresh or dried noodles.

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