Monday, January 08, 2007

Chicken and Noodles for "Waiter there's something in my stew"

I have been wanting to write down our family's favorite "granny dish" and it is chicken and noodles. So in honor of my grandmother, who just celebrated her 93rd birthday on January 2, and to participate in Andrew's "Waiter There's Something in my Soup", I will write about her chicken and noodles and make a pot of them. Her chicken and noodles and her cream (banana, coconut, and chocolate) pies were her best dishes. She also made beef and noodles, but the chicken were always my favorite. While she is still with us, she no longer cooks. To view all the blogger's stews from around the world visit the round-up at

I started with 1 large stewing hen, it was a bit over 6 pounds. I added 1 onion, 2 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, a bay leaf, and covered them with water. Simmer the hen about 1 1/2 hours and let it cool. Pick the chicken meat from the bones, and reserve. Return the bones back to the stock and continue to simmer for a couple of hours to further enrich and strengthen the stock. Pull the chicken into large shreds, this is better than cutting the chicken into chunks with a knife, and reserve.

I made noodles using 5 large eggs with 2 1/2 cups flour, and a teaspoon of salt. I placed all the flour in a large mixing bowl and made a well in the center. I cracked the 5 eggs into the well and added the salt to the eggs. With a wooden spoon, I began stirring the eggs, gradually incorporating the flour until a soft ball forms. Knead slightly and let the dough rest under a tea towel for a couple of minutes to relax the gluten. Divide the dough into two or threee easily managed pieces and roll them out into sheets. Dust the sheets with flour and roll up each sheet jelly-roll style and slice into noodles. Let the noodles dry for a couple of hours while the stock continues to cook.

When the stock has simmered a couple of hours, strain it, discarding the vegetables and bones, return the stock back to the pot. Bring the liquid back to the boil and add the noodles, stirring once so they don't stick together. The excess flour dusting the noodles will thicken the broth as the noodles cook. Stir in the reserved chicken, add salt and pepper, and serve over mashed potatoes.

I know that must seem like starch overload, but that is always the way we ate them. I sometimes add some mushrooms, minced parsly, and thyme to liven up the dish, but Grandma never did. They were so delicious, mine are so inadequate by comparison.


Kevin said...

How right you are about Grandmas' noodles, they were the best. And you're also right about serving w/mashed potatos. I can taste em right now. Mom only makes them a couple of times a year now. They are so coveted that she gives each of us a bag for Christmas, arguably my very best present every year.

Apryl needs to learn Grandmas recipe also, she's already learned how to make tamales from her other grandmother.

Kevin said...

Stews are so appropriate this time of year (yes, it gets cold in Texas too)that I made a batch of calabacita last week. Calabacita is Mexican squash, it's much like zuchinni, but much sweeter and more flavorful IMHO.

I make mine w/pork. I use pork tenderlion that I've cut into 1/4" strips. I like to get a large pork tenderlion from Costco, about 5-6lbs., slice it w/a meat slicer and then cut the slices into strips. I vacuum seal and freeze them in 1 lb. packages for calabacita and stir fry.

I start by browning 1 lb. of pork along w/half a cup of chopped onion in a little bit of oil, 2 tbsp. is plenty for me. When the meat is browned I add one can of diced tomato, half a can of water, and season w/salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin. Cook another 5-10 minutes.

I slice both ends off of the calabacita, then quarter it lengthwise. I then cut the quarters into 1/2" chunks. I use one and a half to two pounds of calabacita for this recipe.

After the meat and tomato have cooked for 5-10 minutes, add the calabacita and 2 cups of corn. Season again w/everything except the salt. Cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes. A few minutes before you serve add 2 tbspn. of masa harina to thicken. Flour will work, but masa has a much better flavor. Throw some Cilantro on top when you serve......

If you can't get calabacita up in the northern hinterlands, it just another reason why life is better in Texas..............

Your cuz,

Brilynn said...

You made your own noodles and everything, nice!
Family recipes are the best.

Andrew said...

You have done your grandmother proud. Many thanks for taking part - see you at the next one I trust!

Kalyn said...

Everyone in our family learned to make this from my mom. We call it "fat noodles." Very fun seeing it on a food blog.