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Give Thanks: Part 1

What could be better than two weeks of posts leading up to the "official" start of the holiday season?? I'm here to deliver some great festive fun that includes plenty of things to give thanks for!

A few days ago I made some chicken noodle soup that helped to remind me why it's worth making soup from scratch. It also reminded me to be thankful that the simple act of mixing flour and eggs makes noodles. If you haven't made noodles before, can I encourage you to try it this week? I know next week is probably your big cooking week, but if you cook up a big pot of this chicken noodle soup it will likely last for 2-3 days (even if you're like me and can't help but sneak some for a late night snack too).

Here's my super simple recipe. Honestly, this is more of a technique than a recipe. Once you have this basic idea down, you can add ingredients that you like the best. My only disclaimer is that you will likely need a pasta maker for your noodles. You don't need it for the cutting, but for the rolling. If you plan on rolling the noodles with a rolling pin just leave yourself plenty of time and keep your patience so that you can get them the right thickness (about 1/8 of an inch).

Home-Made Noodles and Chicken Soup

Start by adding 3T. of EVOO to a large pot. Once heated, add
1 large onion, chopped and
5 celery stalks, sliced
Cook until tender.
Add 1 1/2 t. poultry seasoning, 1 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper

While the onion and celery cook, take a whole roasting chicken and remove as much skin as possible.
Add the chicken to the pot along with enough water to cover the entire chicken.

Add 1 bay leaf and cover the pot. Allow to simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, make your noodles. In a large bowl, put
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
mix together.

One at a time add egg yolks until the flour is moist and forms a ball.
I used 4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs.
To use fewer eggs, use all whole eggs. For more of a "true" egg noodle, use more yolks.

Flour your work area and rolling pin. Begin by kneading the dough with your hands for 1-2 minutes until it begins to get smooth and even textured. Then use the rolling pin to roll as thin as you are able. Again, if you have a pasta machine, get the dough just thin enough that you can begin to feed it into the rollers. I used the #3 setting on my machine.

Lay the dough out again and use a pizza cutting to cut the noodles into long, thick rectangles and then lay on a dish cloth to dry.

Once the chicken in cooked, move it to a deep dish to remove bones and any other undesirable pieces. Pull apart the chicken meat and shred by hand or roughly chop with a knife and return to the pot. Also add to the pot 1 bag of baby carrots. Now is a good time to taste and see if you need to add more salt, pepper or other seasonings.

At this point, the soup can simmer for another hour if you like. About 10 minutes before you plan to serve your soup, add your noodles. Be careful to add a few at a time to avoid them sticking together.

This soup is so satisfying, you really don't need to serve it with a sandwich. My family loves a good slice of bread, so that was the pairing for ours. As I mentioned earlier, cooking your chicken this way and adding ingredients as you go is a great technique or "method" that translates very nicely with all kinds of flavors. Start with garlic and green pepper for a totally different flavor. Use a different set of herb seasonings. Add your family's favorite vegetables. Substitute turkey for the chicken (I'm seeing leftover turkey in your near future!).

This recipe is perfect for fall and right into the winter! Happy cooking... see you tomorrow for more things to be thankful for.


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