Thursday, February 12, 2009

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Noodles

I found this recipe in Country Home and decided to make it for some friends who are under the weather. I used chicken thighs and the slow cooker method, and it couldn't have been easier! After 8 hours, I simply grabbed the thigh bones with tongs and the meat literally fell off when I gently shook it.

3 medium onions, chopped (1 1/2 cups)
3 stalks celery, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil or butter
3 lb. meaty chicken pieces (drumsticks, thighs, and breast halves), skinned
4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
4 carrots, sliced (2 cups)
1 Tbsp. snipped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 16-oz. pkg. frozen egg noodles
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Fresh Thyme sprigs (optional)

1. In a Dutch oven cook onions, celery, and garlic in olive oil just until tender. Add chicken pieces, broth, water, carrots, 1 tablespoon thyme, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Remove from heat. Remove chicken; set aside to cool slightly. Return pan to heat; bring broth mixture to boiling. Add frozen noodles and bring to boiling again. Reduce heat and cook, covered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until noodles are desired doneness. Meanwhile, remove meat from bones; discard bones. Chop the chicken. Remove bay leaf from noodle mixture and discard. Add cooked chicken to noodle mixture.

2. In a small bowl dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons water. Add cornstarch mixture to pan along with peas and lemon juice. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Garnish with thyme sprigs.

Makes 8 servings.

SLOW-COOKER DIRECTIONS: In 5- to 6-quart slow cooker place onion, celery, garlic, carrots, thyme, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, salt, and black pepper (omit olive oil and cooking of vegetables in oil). Place chicken pieces on top of vegetables. Pour chicken broth over chicken, omitting the 1 cup water. Cover; cook on low-heat setting 8 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Remove chicken from cooker; cool slightly. Remove bay leaf; discard. Meanwhile, in a separate pan cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Remove chicken from bones; discard bones. Chop chicken; return to cooker with cooked noodles, peas, and lemon juice. (Omit cornstarch and water thickening step.) Stir to combine. Garnish as directed, if desired.

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