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Stoney’s Crew: The Healing Power of Chicken & Noodles

Uh oh! Stoney is feelin’ poorly. Yep, he is complaining of a sore throat and cold. That can only mean one thing…BREAK OUT THE CHICKEN & NOODLES. Good thing I just cooked that chicken isn’t it! There is a fresh batch of broth and making noodles is quick, easy, cheap, and nothing tastes better when you aren’t feeling the best.

This recipe is the recipe that my Mom always made when I was a kid. She snagged it from Auntie Helen. Oh, the memories of the excitement in the house when Mom was making a batch…and the dirty looks we got when we would snitch a few as she was rolling them out! Yes, priceless! (Pizza Cutter? Trust me just keep reading!)

This is how the official recipe reads:
Aunt Helen’s Noodles
2 Eggs
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons melted butter
1-1/2 cups flour
Beat eggs good. Add salt and melted butter—add ½ cup flour and beat with egg beater. Stir in the rest of flour with knife. Cut right away.
*just as an FYI, use Butter folks. Trust me you don’t want to ruin this perfect recipe by substituting margarine, butter spreads, or oil!

Now-a-days, I use my mixer (it has a dough hook) and depending on the size of mixer you have, you can double, triple, or quad the recipe. I try to keep it to no greater than double at a time here at Stoney's Crew. The dough can start to stiffen quickly, and I am getting slower at rolling it out! Also note that the flour quantity is a rough estimate. It depends on the weather. Yep, the weather has a lot to do with the quantity of flour required. Sometimes I have found in the dry winter months less flour is needed; so it is best to add that last cup a little bit at a time! You will want nice soft dough. I ultimately usually choose to make an entire stick of butter in a day (a quad if you’re feeling ambitious, or break that down to a couple of batches like me!). The remaining noodles will freeze well after they dry. Just try to get as much extra air out of the bag as you can. On this day, I only made a double. I hadn’t planned on making Chicken & Noodles with this particular bird!

Here are a few pics on how the process works:
Always crack your eggs in a separate bowl rather than just adding to the recipe you are working on...if you get a nasty spoiled egg, you won't ruin the whole recipe that way. Hint: I also usually break the yolks a bit before adding to the mix.

Exciting isn't it?

Yep, this is what it looks like when it is ready to roll out!

Throw some flour on the counter and put the ball of dough on top and commence rolling!

Yep, here it is rolled out. Two things, a double batch of dough is really too big to roll out at once, so I cut in half. (See it there on the left?) Roll the dough to about 1/8" thick. Cut the dough into fourths. You will see why in a moment.

Yep, fold the pieces over one another right to left, and then repeat top to bottom...or bottom to top!

See what I mean?

Yes, folks, this was a moment of brilliance here at the Stoney's Crew lab! Use a really good Pizza Cutter (mine is from Pampered Chef) to cut the noodles. In preparation to make the noodles, I opened the drawer to get the knife out and...the little voices in my head spoke and said, "USE THE PIZZA CUTTER!" It is just amazing sometimes, I have been making noodles for more years than I care to admit, and I just made this discovery. That is what makes EVERY DAY an adventure here in the lab!

Oh my, there they are in all of their freshly cut glory. Yes, go ahead snag one and pop it in your mouth and savor that rich, buttery goodness. (I know, there is raw egg in them, but if people can put a raw egg in a protein shake, you can ingest a noodle's worth of it.) Now roll the other half of the dough.

If you are truly bound to have straight noodles, you can carefully keep them all lined up to dry. Here we like curly!

Ideally, you can let the noodles dry a bit (Grandma H always tried for overnight—or all day if she made them early in the morning and there were no kids around!); but this isn’t always a possibility. If you can let them dry an hour or two that is fine too. I went the short route this time. It was an emergency after all. Stoney was sick!

Now for the cooking!
Bring your broth to a rolling boil. When using homemade stock, skim the fat off of the top; pour the rich homemade gel/stock in the pot and add at least an equal amount of water. I used a quart of stock gel, so I added a quart of water. If you use purchased stock, don’t water it down.

When the stock** comes to a rolling boil you can begin SLOWLY adding the noodles. Try to shake off some of the extra flour, too much flour in your pot and your broth will turn to gravy quickly. Add the noodles a slow, gentle handful at a time; so that the stock has a chance to return to a boil. Adding all of the noodles all at once will create a big solid mass of noodle dough in the pan or worse.
The object is to make NOODLES not A NOODLE the exact shape and size of your pot! Slow and steady wins the race! After the noodles are all in the pot turn the heat down to simmer and put the lid on for approximately 5 minutes. Check on the noodles, if they are absorbing a lot of liquid too quickly, you can add a little more water a bit at a time. Let the noodles simmer for awhile.

**You can most certainly add 2 cups of chicken meat to the stock before bringing it up to a boil. I didn’t today because Stoney was having difficulty swallowing; otherwise, yep, that bird would have made an appearance in the pot!

At GG’s we always let the noodles simmer all morning on New Year’s Day so we could watch the Rose Parade! Just check their status periodically. This is an “Eyeball It” program folks. You know what looks like “needs a touch more liquid” is. If you want to make soup, use double the stock, but at Stoney’s Crew we would rather have this version and save the other quart of stock for other recipes! Yeah, if you really want to you can use a combo of store bought and homemade stock, but when a member of Stoney’s Crew is feelin’ poorly, I don’t want to put those extra unpronounceable chemicals our bodies.

About Noodle Making
Grandma H used to roll out the noodles on a day old newspaper. This helped to dry the noodles, and it made them more portable after she cut them (she rolled out on the kitchen table, and moved to another room to dry). DO NOT use newspapers today. The inks now do not absorb into the newspaper. The ink lays on top of the paper. Yep, if you use a newspaper, you will have gray/blackish noodles and ruin the healthy benefits of the homemade noodles by adding unwanted and dangerous chemicals to your body. If, for drying purposes, you want to make the noodles more portable move to parchment paper or a clean piece of plain white paper table cloth after cutting. I personally am spoiled. I have a large island in the kitchen that I can leave the noodles on to dry. Some folks use “noodle dryers or racks” to hang the noodles over to dry. I can’t see the need of such a thing occupying the valuable cabinet real estate in my kitchen for storage of one. It’s your kitchen; you decide what works best for you.

Here in the land of Stoney’s Crew we grew up with a dinner menu comprised of Chicken (or Beef) and Noodles (with meat included), Mashed Potatoes, Corn or Peas. (A side salad and fruit too!) There are those of you that think that is starch overload, well, o.k. maybe, but don’t knock it until you try it…

Grocery Round-Up!
Today is Wednesday, that means grocery ads in this neck of the woods! I shop at any of the following stores: Marsh, Martin’s, Meijer, Target, Publix, Wal-Mart, and Winn-Dixie have quick and easy loading sales fliers Kroger/Owen’s/Scott’s not so much… I find their site so lacking in ease-of-use that I won’t even provide the link here, I resort to the old-fashioned newspaper ad. And it is sad, because I loved shopping at Scott’s before they were purchased by Kroger. [Sigh!] I like to use the online circulars to begin the “ponderation” of menus incorporating loss leaders whenever possible.

This batch of noodles made 5 servings.

The official adult meal count for the current Chicken Challenge is 7.

Go Colts!

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