Pork and Pickles

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Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Noodles

I pulled out my trusty copy of Joy of Cooking today and nearly tore the cover off! It’s sporting a lovely stripe of duct tape now, while I figure out if there’s a better long-term solution for holding it together.

While I had it out, I figured I’d make egg noodles for tonight’s dinner. I frequently buy a rotisserie chicken on Tuesdays, since I have it in my head that it’s cheaper on Tuesdays. I don’t think it is, but whatever. It makes for an easy dinner. Since I had the noodles and chicken in mind, it only made sense to make my daughter’s favorite dinner.

To start, you take all-purpose flour, salt, and butter and pulse them in the food processor a bit. Then add whole eggs and egg yolks and run the processor until everything comes together. Knead by hand a couple times to bring it together, then form it into a disc and wrap in plastic. Put it in the fridge for a few hours to let the flour hydrate and let the gluten relax.

What my dough looked like after it's trip through the food processor.

What my dough looked like after its trip through the food processor.

About 40 minutes before you’re planning to eat, heat a tablespoon or so of butter and the same amount of olive oil in a large Dutch oven. Add diced onion, celery, and carrots, and minced garlic, along with a pinch of salt, and sweat until onions are translucent. Add chicken stock to cover everything (supplementing with water if you run out), bring to a simmer, and cook until the carrots are mostly tender.

While the soup is simmering, start rolling out the noodles. Divide the dough into thirds and roll out on a liberally floured surface until it’s about 1/16″ thick. You’ll notice that it starts to spring back at some point, so fold the piece of dough in thirds and set aside while you roll out the other pieces of dough. You can ABSOLUTELY do this part with a pasta machine, but I didn’t feel like getting mine out and dealing with the hassle of finding a good place to clamp it down. And I feel like I’ve finally gotten the hang of rolling out dough after the approximately 923847 batches of sugar cookies I made for Christmas, so this was fun. Once you’ve rolled out all of the dough pieces, go back to the first one and roll it out a bit more. Cut it into pieces the desired length of your noodles, then stack them and slice to the desired width. You’ll want about 1/3 of the noodles for a 5/6 serving pot of soup, and you can freeze what you don’t use.

2/3 of the noodles, laid onto a pan for freezing.

2/3 of the noodles, laid onto a pan for freezing.

Once the carrots are tender, add your cooked chicken to the pot and check for seasoning. Bring to a boil and add the noodles, then simmer 3-4 minutes until they’re al dente. Finish with chopped parsley, if you’ve got it, and serve.

Ready to NOM.

Ready to NOM.

Leftovers, if you have them, reheat well.

Egg Noodles, from Joy of Cooking

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 TB + 1 tsp unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks

Combine flour, salt, and butter in food processor and pulse to combine. Add eggs and yolks and process until dough forms. Remove from food processor and knead lightly to bring dough together, then form into a disc and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate at least one hour to allow gluten to relax.

Cut dough into thirds and roll out with plenty of flour, either by hand or in a pasta machine, until desired thickness. Cut to desired length and width.

Chicken Noodle Soup 

  • 1 TB butter
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 stalks celery, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups chicken stock, homemade or commercially produced
  • 1/3 recipe egg noodles, above, or commercially produced egg noodles (dry noodles will take longer to cook)
  • 1-2 cups cooked chicken
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parsley

Sweat vegetables in fat with a pinch of salt until onions are translucent. Add stock, plus water as needed to cover ingredients. Bring to simmer and cook until carrots are tender. Season to taste and add chicken, then bring to a boil and add noodles. Cook until tender, 3-4 minutes for fresh noodles or following package directions for commercial noodles. Finish with minced parsley and serve.


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Chicken Stock

I’m recovering from lots of tasty beer and fun at yesterday’s Autumn Brew Review, so today started with a hearty breakfast. A hash of red and green peppers, potatoes, and spinach, with bacon and scrambled eggs. And coffee, naturally. Now that I’m mostly over this cold I can actually *taste* the coffee again. It’s nice.

Breakfast of champions. Or at least of the sunburned and slightly hung over.

Breakfast conversation turned to soups and stock and I remembered the packages of chicken parts and bones in the freezer and my dwindling supply of frozen chicken stock. Yes! That’s the project for today.

Yep. Chicken feet.

The co-ops get packages of chicken backs, necks, and feet from their poultry suppliers, which they sell fairly cheaply (the backs & necks were $1.99/lb and the feet were $2.89/lb). I like to pick up a package from time to time and save them for stock. I also freeze mushroom and parsley stems and carrot and celery trimmings when I remember. All the frozen chicken parts and vegetable trimmings go into the pot, along with a few ribs of celery, a couple carrots, and a couple of onions. No need to be fussy with this step – just chop the carrots and celery into 1-2″ pieces and cut the onions into eighths. I don’t even bother peeling them when they’re organic – the peels add a nice bit of color to the stock, plus I’m sure there are vitamins and minerals that leach out of them. More nutrition is always good!

Bouquet garni, aka herbs and spices.

Next you add the bouquet garni, which is a fancy term for herbs and spices. I snipped some of the parsley and thyme off my plants and added bay leaves, peppercorns, and a couple whole cloves. One of the things I remember from the first quarter of cooking school, the part where they teach you all the basics, is the mnemonic the chef taught us to remember the bouquet garni ingredients: Peppy Pupils Better Cooks Tomorrow. PPBCT. Parsley, Peppercorns, Bay, Cloves, Thyme. I always have to add them in that order, since that’s the way my brain works. Well, I don’t make separate trips outside for the parsley and thyme (most of the time, anyhow), but it goes into the pan in that order.

Gigantic heavy pot o’stock (seriously, this pot weighs more than 10# empty)

Cover everything with cold water and bring it to a boil. Skim off the scum that floats to the top as it cooks – that’s from the proteins that leach out of the bones and it makes for a cloudy product if you leave it in. It won’t hurt anything if you do leave it, it just looks kind of gross. Reduce the heat so your stock is just barely simmering and leave it, partially covered, to cook for as long as possible. Strain and then portion it into your storage containers. Let the stock cool to room temperature, label, and then pop it into the freezer.

From there, use it wherever you’d use canned chicken stock – soups, pan sauces, pasta, rice dishes… The sky’s the limit!