Last week when my parents were here, I stared at a package of chicken breast and wondered aloud what to do with it. My father, busily replacing the shelf brackets under my cookbooks, piped up … “Chicken pot pie!”
“But mom can’t have potatoes… You can’t have pot pie without potatoes!”
He stared at me for a moment. “In POT PIE? There’s no potatoes in pot pie. NOODLES!”
Slowly it dawned on me that we were not talking about the same thing. A few questions later, I got it worked out: He meant the thick, chewy egg noodle “stoop” Grandma Hess used to make. “With noodles, the tougher, the better,” Dad insisted. “Just like dumplings…”
Oh, no. I wasn’t rolling into Dumplingville. Let’s stick with the noodles. (Turns out the Pennsylvania Dutch call it “pot pie” because the whole thing is cooked in one pot. The pastry-topped dish I’d thought of as “pot pie” is actually “meat pie.”)
Long story short, here’s an idea for the next time you’re snowed in or otherwise needing some stick-to-the-ribs comfort food. (Start the noodles in the morning to give them time to dry if you like ’em chewy, like my dad does.)
Homemade Noodle Soup
2 C flour
1 tsp salt
6 Tbls milk (2 half egg shells full)
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – cubed (raw)
1 large onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 large stalks celery, peeled and chopped
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
2 cans chicken broth
1 C white wine or water
1 C frozen peas
salt and pepper to taste
Put flour and salt in bowl, make well in center. Add eggs and milk, and stir together to make a sticky dough. Knead a couple of turns on a floured surface, then roll 1/4 inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut dough down the center then into 1/2 – 1 inch wide strips. Cover with a towel and set aside.
Saute onion, celery, and carrots in a little olive oil until onions are browned. Add spices and chicken, cook 10-12 minutes or until chicken is browned. Add chicken broth and simmer 30-40 minutes.
Drop noodles in a handful at a time into the simmering broth, stirring to separate. Add water to cover noodles. Simmer another 30 minutes, until noodles are almost cooked through. Add peas and return to simmer. Adjust seasonings and serve in bowls. Serves 4-6.