It was perfect.
One of the best things I think I did this summer was to not spend a ton of time cooking down carcasses from the summer creepy meats or canning stock. It was too hot, not enough time, and I had better things to do. For sure I put at least one carcass in the pokey pot to cook down every time we had a butcher day.... but I figured out to generously cut the "good" parts of the chicken (the breasts and thighs) and then put the rest in a big one gallon freezer bag and toss it in the freezer.
Now I can just take one of these bags of chickeny goodness out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before to thaw, put it in the crock pot the next day, and let it cook down. The house always smells good when there is a chicken stewing.
Making chicken and noodles is super easy.
In a dutch oven I use the chicken fat skimmed from cooking down the carcass to saute some chopped onions. Add some potatoes, celery, sweet potatoes, carrots or whatever you've got ..... then add the strained stock from the crock pot.
Seasonings? Salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, thyme, a bay leaf.... put that in and let it simmer until the potatoes are soft-ish.
Next, your secret weapon.... Mrs. Millers Extra Wide Noodles. Oh yeah...that is the stuff. Even tho I was falsely accused of not "really" making chicken and noodles because I used "store bought" noodles... Mrs. Miller knows how to get 'er done.
The noodles take about 10 or 12 minutes to cook in the broth. Heat up the oven to 425* while you are waiting.
Then add the meat from the cooked down carcass. Take off the best bits and put in the pot...and give the rest to the cats.
We like it thick so I make a little cornstarch + cream and add that at the end.
Last... the best part, according to my husband, a cracker topping. Yep. Crunch up those crackers and sprinkle them on top. Then into the oven until browned and bubbling.
The older ladies at church suppers will tell you that the secrets to perfect chicken and noodles are:
1. Butcher an old laying hen for the best stock. We find creepy meats do just fine but the (relatively) older ones are the ticket.
2. Add a lot of pepper. It's weird but if your broth needs a little oomph then adding a lot of ground pepper really gives it that something special.
Of course, it's always better the next day. It is a well known fact that chicken and noodles is a breakfast food.
Is it carb heavy? Yep. Don't even care. With these grey skies and summer dying out there in front of me I need a little extra lovin' today.
Chicken n noodles is the perfect meal for these dreary days.
Happy Sunday everyone! Are you having chicken and noodles for breakfast?