It’s ‘tip’ time with Debbie! While I’ve been off for the past five weeks, (Which has flown, I might add.) I’ve discovered a couple of great tips for the working women and men who really cook! I live approximately 1 1/2 miles from the local big ‘W’ store in Branson West. This tidbit is important because those who live further away don’t always discover these tips. Early in the morning, at our store I can walk back to the deli area and purchase pre-baked rotisserie hens from the night before. Wait for it now…at the price of $2.50 a hen. The really big ‘family’ size hens will be $3.50 each. When you bring them home you immediately dissect the meat from the carcass and you will yield somewhere between 3-4 hefty cups from an average hen. With the family size hen you can get about 6 cups each. Someone else has cooked the hen for you. Saving lots of time off the evening agenda. Plus for $5.00 (I always get two) I will have enough fresh meat for 3-5 meals. My goodness friends, this is very economical eating in my book. That’s not all either, put the carcass on with water, spices and a few vegies and you’ll have good broth/stock needed for this chicken and noodle dish.
The lists just go on and on with what you can create using all this chicken. The one thing I don’t recommend is purchasing the lemon hens, as lemon isn’t a flavor that’s great in all recipes. I’m seeing casseroles, fajitas, tacos, soups, stews and the list goes on and on…
To prepare my chicken and noodles you will need to roll out fresh pasta. This is so much fun! It’s also a great gift idea for those wanting to do something ‘big’ on a low budget. I haven’t met many people who will turn down a bowl of homemade chicken and noodles! If you’re from Kansas you’ll also serve the dish over mashed potatoes. At least that’s what all the Uhrigs do! Perhaps it’s a German thing? If you have to cheat and purchase pre-made noodles I would highly suggest using Amish for the best outcome. Those watching their cholesterol may desire to purchase the yolk-free types.
My week got better and better as it unfolded. Physically I’m greatly improved over last week this time. My husband, Ervin, surprised me with chocolate dipped strawberries and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I also spent the weekend spoiling 5 teenagers to my heart’s content. At one time on Friday I think we had 9-10 young people hanging out at our home. I just kept cooking and baking chocolate chip cookies. We wrapped up the week with a trip up to Springfield so Phillip and one of his friends could knock out some energy at the trampoline center. Plans were for me to cook our annual Valentine dinner at home, but instead we had crab legs and shrimp. Monday evening the cancelled dinner will take place! Shrimp & Pasta, fresh asparagus and Boston Crème Pie. Yummy!
This is my last full week off before returning to park to start work on the summer menus and schedules. I’m going to enjoy it to the utmost. Enjoy the week, Simply Yours, The Covered Dish. www.thecovereddish.com
Chicken and Noodles
Serves 4-5 persons
1 1/2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
4-6 cups chicken stock (Begin with 4 cups)
1 cup diced carrot
Salt and Pepper, or Seasoning Salt
Mushrooms or onions if desired
Thickening (if needed)
1 tablespoon flour to 3 tablespoons water
Place stock, chicken, seasonings, and carrot in a 4 quart stockpot and bring to a boil. Simmer, cooking until the carrots are tender. Place 2-3 cups of noodles into the hot water and bring back to a boil. Stir constantly to keep noodles from clumping. Lower temperature until noodles are done. Time varies with the thickness of the noodle. Usually it’s around 15 minutes. If the noodles do not thicken to your liking then you will need to thicken. Start with one mixture of the flour to water ratio, whisk to smooth and add to pot. If it doesn’t thicken up repeat the process. There are times when the flour on the noodles is enough to make the sauce thick and there are times when it is not. Likewise with the stock. Start with the 4 cups as directed and increase if the noodles get too thick.
Yields 4-5 cups of noodles depending upon thickness
4 egg yolks & 1 whole egg
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 – 1/4 cup of water, milk, or stock
Whip eggs together with salt and water or milk (start with 1/8th). Gradually add flour a cup or so at a time. Knead well, blending. (Add additional liquid if necessary.) Place scattered flour on parchment paper and roll out as if it’s a piecrust. The goal is to get noodles very thin and to keep them from sticking. After they are as thin as desired use a noodle cutter and score the noodles. If you do not have a cutter roll up the dough and slice the dough into desired widths. Leave the noodles to dry for no less than two hours. Cover with parchment or tea towel and leave overnight for the best results. You can cook with the noodles immediately, but it is not always the most successful for a beginner