Sunday, November 16, 2008

Chicken and Noodles for Chilly and Busy Days

The seasonal weather has finally arrived…which means, happily (for someone with a busy schedule, at least), crockery cooking. This past week I broke out my slow cooker for the first time since last winter. And my, was the fare delicious. After deciding to make good on my self-promise to use my New Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book more often, I started off the chilly season with their beef stew recipe. I had a few friends over for dinner that night, and the stew was so good it was gone before I could snap a single photo.

This week I’ll be cooking a variation on a family recipe: my Aunt Kathy’s slow cooker adaptation of my Grandma Ethel’s chicken and noodles. Tonight I’m eating at the Elms, DePauw’s presidential mansion, so there’s no need for me to make a dinner; that means I won’t be posting pictures of the chicken and noodles until Monday after supper.

But for those of you too anxious to wait and see what the dish looks like before cooking it up for yourselves, here’s the recipe. Like any good family recipe, measurements are imprecise and depend entirely upon your taste and texture preferences. Have fun with it. And enjoy.

Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles
from Ethel Koester via Kathy Connor

boneless, skinless chicken breasts
water and/or chicken broth
onion, chopped
carrots, grated or chopped
chicken soup base
noodles (egg or Amish tastes best, unless of course you have homemade…)
corn starch (optional)

Place the raw chicken breasts in the bottom of the slow cooker. Sprinkle them with parsley, then cover pour over the water and/or chicken broth until the chicken is covered. Place the chopped onion and grated carrot in the slow cooker as well. Add some of the chicken soup base for a stronger chicken flavor. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours.
Add the noodles to the slow cooker with 30 minutes left in your cook time. If the broth is still particularly thin after the noodles have been added and cooked, add a bit of watered-down corn starch to thicken it.
Note: If you refrigerate leftovers, be aware that the noodles will continue absorbing some of the liquid. While this doesn’t affect the taste any, the texture will be noticeably thicker upon reheating.

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