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~No Soup for You Home-Style Chicken-Noodle Bowls~

IMG_8171It gets made in a pot of stock but it's not a soup.  It's not a stew either.  This heartwarming, down-home comfort-food dish is the great-grandmother of all noodle bowls.  Some refer to it as Southern, my experience with it is as an Eastern European, and, I know from first-hand experience the Pennsylvania Deutsch make it too.  I suspect they make it in Midwest as well.  It's bite-sized pieces of tender chicken cooked in well-seasoned chicken stock with aromatic carrots, celery, onion and potatoes.  Egg noodles go directly into the pot to cook and absorb almost all the flavorful broth.  When executed properly, there's no need for a slurry (a bland-tasting thickener) -- the starch in the noodles does the work.  The end result is rich, thick and hearty goodness.

It's the great-grandmother of all noodle bowls:

IMG_8178Unlike my great-grandmother and grandmother (who turned out scratch-made egg noodles like a piece of fine-tuned machinery), my mom never made this dish with her homemade chicken stock and from-scratch egg noodles -- she reserved her liquid gold and oodles-of-noodles for Sunday's heavenly chicken soup or special-occasion chicken pot-pie.  Mom worked (as in had a nine-to-five job), so, understandably, she took a few short-cuts in order to transition this (and other meals) into a relatively quick-to-make kid-friendly simply-scrumptious weeknight dinner. Allow me to suggest this meal originated as a way fill-up a hungry family for pennies.

IMG_81212  pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, chopped into small, bite-sized pieces (Note:  I like to use thighs because they have a richer flavor than tenderloins or breasts, and, they have just enough fat on them to enhance the flavor of the dish.)

2  tablespoons salted butter

1  generous cup and up to 1 1/2 cups each: small diced sweet onion, carrot and celery (4-6 ounces each)

2 quarts chicken stock, preferably homemade (8 cups) (Note:  Click on this link to get my recipe for ~ It's National Chicken Stock Day in Melanie's Kitchen ~.)

Note:  When using my homemade stock, I don't need to season it.  When using your own homemade chicken stock, you may or may not need to season it.  When using store-bought chicken stock, season it with:  1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, 1  teaspoon coarse-grind black pepper, 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1-2 teaspoons sea salt

1 1/2-2  cups peeled and small-diced gold potatoes  (8-12 ounces)

16  ounces Mrs. Weiss kluski (rustic-style enriched egg noodles), to be cooked in the stock

IMG_8124 IMG_8124 IMG_8124 IMG_8124~Step 1.  In a wide-bottomed 6-quart stockpot, melt the butter over low heat.  Add the the chicken, onion, carrot and celery.  Lightly season it with a sprinkle of salt and pepper (I use 20-25 grinds each of sea salt and black pepper). Cook over medium heat, stirring almost constantly until the chicken is turning opaque and just short of being cooked through, about 8-9 minutes.

IMG_8135IMG_8135IMG_8135IMG_8135~Step 2.  Add the chicken stock (plus additional seasonings if applicable) and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.  While mixture is coming to a simmer, peel and dice the potatoes, then, add them too.  When the stock returns to a simmer, continue to simmer 2 1/2-3 more minutes.

IMG_8151 IMG_8151 IMG_8151 IMG_8151 IMG_8151 IMG_8167~Step 3.  Add and stir in the egg noodles. Continue to cook, uncovered, until noodles are tender, 15-16 minutes.  Turn heat off, cover pot and allow to steep, about 15-16 minutes, so noodles can absorb the well-seasoned broth.  

Serve steaming hot & stick your fork in chicken-noodle heaven: 

IMG_8187No Soup for You Home-Style Chicken-Noodle Bowls:  Recipe yields 4 quarts/8-12 servings, and, leftovers reheat nicely in the microwave.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; vegetable peeler; 6-quart stockpot w/lid; large spoon; soup ladle

6a0120a8551282970b01bb09265b77970dCook's Note: Rethink your position if you think frugal fare isn't delicious. In my recipe for ~ My Mother-in-Law's Philly Hamburger Pepper Pot ~, which is a soupy version of today's recipe, hamburger takes center stage.  Some folks call it hamburger soup, I call it delicious.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos Courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)


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