Easy Chicken & Noodles

My husband’s favorite dish is one his grandma made every Christmas–chicken & homemade noodles. It became a goal of mine to learn to make this dish myself so I could make it for him when I wanted to do something nice, or if he just needed a pick-me-up. I also wanted to make sure to put my own stamp on it, because…well, that’s just what I love to do. I love cooking in that way. Unlike baking, which is much more precise, cooking has a high degree of flexibility and uniqueness. Two people can follow the same recipe and still have it be a bit different. While some people are die-hard recipe followers, I am more on the creative end. I love to try changing or adding things to make it my own. It reminds me of that line in Pirates of the Caribbean where Captain Barbossa says the pirate rules are “more like guidelines.” That is what a recipe should be!

courtesy http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/36d2ks/

Anyway, when I sat down to find a recipe to make, I couldn’t find one that really seemed…good. Or quick. Most recipes (including my grandmother-in-law’s) required you to make your own stock, cook the chicken, and add noodles, which were of course homemade. Not much else involved, which to me seemed bland. And don’t get me wrong, I love to cook. My first time I did indeed cook my own chicken and make my own egg noodles. After much searching I decided to take inspiration from a couple of places, and invent my own. I needed to change it up somehow from a 4-6 hour slow cooker recipe, which didn’t work for me. I leave for work and don’t get home until at least 8 hours later so 4-6 hours wasn’t enough time. I also was exhausted when I got home, and wanted to not spend my whole afternoon in my kitchen. I was not giving my time with my son. So I took ideas and inspirations and came up with a really tasty short cut that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as my family does.

Ok, you’ll need more than 7 baby carrots, but I was using my leftovers from a bag of mixed veggies, so I didn’t have a “bag” to put in the picture.

There are two main changes that really are the key to this being a time saving recipe. Ready for them? Rotisserie chicken and frozen egg noodles. I’m telling you, it saves you a good 4-5 hours of cook time, and still tastes delicious. And, they’re available at the Walmart Grocery Store, which there is one practically in every city. Super quick and convenient.

So to start, you’ll need to chop up two stalks of celery, 1 small bag of baby carrots and one small onion. I only had a large, so I used half.

Dice everything up, leaving the baby carrot pieces and celery pieces roughly the same size.

 

Even use that fun little section of celery leaves. They add flavor as well!

Next, take the chicken (I used two; I don’t like dark meat) and cut the meat off. Shred or chop–your preference here is fine–and set aside. Make sure to keep all of the chicken juices too for flavor.

Personally, I rough chop and then shred with my fingers when I move it off the cutting board. Best of both worlds.

Once you have everything prepped (which took about 30 minutes max) you can either put it in the fridge (separate container for the chicken) and have it ready for your dinner night after work, or you can continue on to cooking. Let’s keep going, shall we?

Use 2 tbsp olive oil or butter (again, your preference) and cook the veggies for about 10 minutes. You don’t have to cook the carrots until fully tender, but get the onions translucent and the carrots a little softer.


When you have them ready, add the chicken.


Then your spices and herbs if you choose to add them. Along with a bit of garlic, I added turmeric (because of it’s amazing health properties and color), thyme and a bay leaf.


Now add the chicken broth (or half broth and half water) and the cream of chicken soup. It will be quite watery like soup, that’s great. Your  noodles will suck up a lot of liquid. Bring this to a boil and cook for a few minutes.

See the nice warm yellowish color? That is the turmeric. It not only adds a deep color, it also adds a warmth to the noodles.

Next add the noodles and bring back to a boil. Cook for 20 minutes until the noodles are done, and the carrots are soft.


It should be thickened and delicious. Add salt and pepper to taste. There you have it! A great, warm bowl of comfort.


What do you think? Would you eat this dish?

Chicken & Noodles
1 22oz Cream of Chicken Soup
2 32 oz box chicken broth (or half water)
1 bag Reames’ frozen noodles (or you can make your own)
1 small onion
1 small bag baby carrots
2 celery stalks
1-2 cloves minced garlic (optional)
1-2 rotisserie chickens, meat removed and chopped/shredded
salt & pepper to taste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp turmeric (optional)
1 tsp poultry seasoning (optional)
2 tbsp oil or butter for frying vegetables

Directions:

Dice the onion, celery and carrots into 1/2″ chunks, set aside.

Melt butter or oil in a pan and cook the carrot/onion/celery mixture about 10 minutes until carrots are slightly softened and onion is translucent. You can add garlic and herbs at this point, if you want.

Remove the chicken meat and dice or shred into a separate bowl, set aside.

Add the chicken, broth and cream of chicken soup and bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes to get the mix hot.

Add the frozen noodles, and return to a boil. Cook the noodles for 20 minutes or until they are cooked through. Add salt, pepper to taste.

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