I'm back to blogging because the rest of my life is work. I need to remember that I used to have hobbies and things I liked to do for fun.
In my second-to-last semester of college I took a class called American Musical Theater. Those of you who know me know I love a good showtune. In order to study for listening quizzes and make friends, I decided to host listening quiz parties. The class would be invited over to listen to the soundtrack of the week and eat a themed meal. Oh yes, you read right: A themed meal.
So, "Oklahoma!": Tequila Sunrises (Oh, What A Beautiful Morning...), BBQ Popcorn (...corn is as high as an elephant's eye), Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad with a Chipotle Ceasar (the farmer), a hearty beef chili (the cowman), and a Pear-Butterscotch pie ("why did you take the trouble to bake my favorite pie?").
And then..."Guys and Dolls". Adelaide develops a cold due to not being married, so I made a chicken soup. She also is a Hot Box Chick, and loves him a "bushel and a peck"...Yeah, I got into it. The rest of the menu included spiked lemonade, cuban sandwiches, and a New York Cheesecake. Those of you who know "Guys and Dolls" will get the references.
But literally, this soup is the best Chicken Noodle I've ever made or had. I also totally made it up as I went along.
Adelaide's Lament Chicken Noodle
A Whole Chicken, 5 to 8 lbs
1 Lemon, cut into quarters
1/2 cup white wine
1 Large Onion, diced
Carrots, about 6, diced
Celery, about 6 stalks, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 bay leaves
1 t rosemary
1 t thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chicken Stock, 10-16 cups
1 lb wide egg noodles
1. Roast the chicken. My preferred method is to lather the chicken with a few tablespoons of butter, salt, and pepper and place the lemon in the cavity of the bird. Add whatever herbs you have handy inside, too. A little dried rosemary and thyme go a long way here, too. I roast my chicken in a dutch oven I bought at a thrift store ages ago--I recommend the same. You'll make the soup in the same pot. Your chicken will probably roast for 2 or so hours.
2. Remove the chicken from the dutch oven and place the dutch oven, with all the drippings, on the stove top. I'll fully admit that this isn't a healthy recipe. Pour in the wine and let the "gravy" reduce. This sauce is the base of the soup that makes it so flavorful.
3. Add the vegetables and garlic. Let them cook down for a few minutes, until the onions are translucent and the carrots and celery start to soften. Meanwhile, chop the chicken into bite-size pieces.
4. Add herbs, salt and pepper. Start slow, you can add later.
5. Add the chicken stock. I'm pretty sure I used homemade for this one, and it's worth it. Needs more salt, but so delightfully delicious (and free!).
6. Bring the stock to a boil. Add the egg noodles and cook according to directions. Add the chicken when the noodles are about done--it only needs to re-heat.
Remember, soup is an art. You add what you want; taste and change as you go. This is a more classic chicken noodle, but I can imagine roasting the chicken with Five Spice powder or chili-garlic sauce, spiking the sauce with saki and adding lots of miso to the broth. I've been dying to find ways to use more rice noodles, too.