Saturday, October 19, 2013

Home made chicken and egg noodles

This is a recipe that's been in our family for -  I don't even know how many generations. I believe it was a pioneer recipe, or it could have come over from England. I'm just not sure! I only know that the Sabey side has been making it long before I was ever born, it's delicious, and we all love it.

First you'll need a nice stock pot and a whole chicken. The best kind of chicken for this recipe is a nice, old laying hen, if you can get it. If there's a Hutterite colony nearby you can often order one from them. The chickens you find at the grocery store are typically young and will make a less flavourful broth.

Place the chicken in the stock pot and add enough water to cover it. I also like to add a stock of celery, an onion and a large carrot to add some depth of flavour. Bring it to a boil and allow it to cook away for at least 3 hours. You may wish to add extra water periodically so it doesn't reduce too much. Enjoy the yummy smells wafting through your house.

Alternatively, if you've had a roast chicken or turkey you can boil the carcass after removing all the meat to make a bone broth, which I've found to be just as yummy and you get two totally different meals out of one bird. Bonus!
If you've never made a bone broth, you might want to take a look at this great little video on you tube. Just substitute your chicken or turkey carcass for the back/neck pieces he uses and follow the rest of his directions. 

Now that your chicken is done, scoop everything out of the broth with a strainer. Pull all the meat off and put it aside to eat with your noodles later. Discard the bones and the vegetables.

Now that you have just your broth left in the pot, pull out a spoonful or two and ALLOW IT TO COOL so you can taste it and see how the flavour is. PLEASE do not burn your tongue off tasting it right from the pot. It will ruin the whole experience of eating it at the end :).

If you used a really old bird, you'll have a nice flavour and probably won't need to add much except salt and pepper to taste. I try not to over season it. People that like plenty of salt and pepper can add more to their own bowl at the end.

If you used a younger bird, or your stock boiled off too much, or if you're feeding a lot of people, you can choose to add some extra broth from a carton for added volume and flavour. I prefer Knorr. It's the tastiest out of the several brands I've tried.
Add as much extra broth as you need and bring it all back up to a boil.

Now it's time for NOODLES. The whole family likes to get involved at this point. Use anywhere from 6-12 eggs depending on the crew you need to feed. We usually like to use 8. That will feed our family of 4, plus guests with plenty of left overs (they are even BETTER the next day!). Put your eggs in a bowl with a tsp of salt or so and gradually add flour until you have a nice firm dough for rolling out. I have fond memories of watching my grandparents and my dad mixing this dough by hand and I thank my lucky stars for my KitchenAid mixer and it's dough hook attachment so I don't have to!

Break off pieces of dough and roll them out nice and thin on a well floured surface. I like using a heavy marble rolling pin, it makes it easier.

Once your dough is nice and thin, I would guess around 2mm or less than 1/8", you can cut your noodles. I have this nifty tool I found at a garage sale. If you look up 'roller cutter/meat tenderizer' or 'noodle cutter' on ebay you're sure to find something similar, but if you don't have one, just flour your dough really well, roll it up, and slice the roll thinly with a knife - kind of like making really narrow cinnamon buns. Confession: I totally cheat now and use the KitchenAid pasta roller and cutter attachments my hubby spoiled me with to do these two steps.

Separate the noodles from one another and drop them into the pot one at a time so they don't stick together. This is the part the kids LOVE to help with! Continue rolling, cutting and adding your noodles, stirring well each time you add a batch of noodles. Don't be afraid of your noodles being well floured - it helps to thicken the broth.

Allow them to cook for a while, stirring occasionally. Once they seem like they're done you can pull a noodle out to cool for a minute and taste it. If it seems a little doughy or chewy in the middle, give them a few more minutes.

Now you COULD just eat the noodles and broth but traditionally we always 
serve over mashed potatoes. It's so yummy! Try it, you'll love it!
Now add some chicken meat and enjoy.

 Don't forget to put the leftovers in the fridge so you can enjoy it even more tomorrow :)
You won't be sorry.

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