Jay has his boss in town this week and then he'll be away for the second half of the week and I have 3 assignments due in class tonight and an exam on Wednesday so....
I made us comfort food. YES. I. DID. It was a necessity. We had a great weekend, but a BUSY one, so when I had a few minutes I made a big pot of these noodles with chicken so we'd have it all week for lunches and dinners when we aren't together.
It's basically like chicken noodle soup with gravy instead of soup. I KNOW. You're welcome. We love it, and I hop you will too! I got the idea from this recipe from Ree, who you know I love, and I made it different based on 1. not looking at the real recipe and 2. being in a hurry. Try this one soon - it's a perfect eat-out-of-the-pot-for-several-days dish.
You need chicken, onion, celery, carrot, garlic, lemon, egg noodles (or whatever, but I really like these whole wheat egg noodles!), seasoning salt, parsley, and flour. It's worth noting here that you could use a rotisserie chicken or other pre-cooked chicken. In that case, you'll also need 4 or so cups of chicken stock. Here we make our own stock when we poach the chicken, and use that to make the gravy. You also need olive oil and/or butter.
So, in this recipe there are several steps. They're all simple, but I find that doing several things at once makes the dish come together faster. I start the onion, then I cook the chicken while that's happening. Once the chicken is cooked I use the same pot to boil and drain the noodles, then in the SAME POT still, I make the gravy with the veggies. You could cook the noodles in a third pot to save even more time, but I only wanted to use two dishes. So, there.
The onions will really slowly cook while everything else happens. We want them to get soft and golden, which can take an hour or so. I didn't have that kind of patience, so I let mine get golden-ish for 45 minutes and then moved on with my life. These are my onions about halfway through.
While the onion is working, start the chicken! You can poach frozen chicken, FYI - no need to thaw it! To poach chicken, add it to a large pot (the same one you'll use to boil the noodles) and cover it with 3 - 5 cups of water. Enough to almost cover the chicken. I added some of the random frozen veggie bits I use to make stock, and you could do that with your carrot/celery/onion ends from this recipe if you want! No worries if not, though. Chicken-flavored water is all we're going for.
Then, fill the same pot with water, bring it to a boil with some salt, and boil the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. While the pasta is working, shred the chicken with your fingers or two forks.
Now we're ready to start our gravy and veggies. To the SAME POT (again, you could use more than one to speed things up), add some butter and/or olive oil over medium heat. ¼ cup of fat or so total. It sounds like a lot, but we're making a dish that will feed 6 or more people. So, don't freak out.
Enjoy this, friends! The lemon zest and garlic add tons of flavor, and the whole wheat noodles don't get too soft in the gravy like white noodles would. I just decided which leftovers I'm eating for lunch tomorrow....
Shared with my Weekend Potluck gals.
Chicken and Noodles
- 12 ounces whole wheat egg noodles or other short pasta
- ⅔ pound chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 large onion
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 large or 4 small carrots
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil plus one drizzle
- zest of 1 lemon
- ½ cup fresh parsley leaves
- ½ teaspoon plus more seasoning salt
- Thinly slice the onion. Add it to a pan with a drizzle of olive oil over medium-low heat. Stirring occasionally, allow the onion to caramelize while you prepare the rest of the dish.
- Meanwhile, poach the chicken. Using thawed or frozen chicken (either one), add the chicken to a large pot and cover it with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and any vegetable bits that you'd like to use (optional). Cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook the chicken until done, 10 - 20 minutes depending on what cut of chicken you use.
- While the chicken is cooking, finely chop the carrot and celery and mince the garlic.
- When the chicken is cooked through, remove it to a plate to cool and strain the cooking liquid into a bowl.
- In the same pot, boil the pasta to al dente and drain. While the pasta is cooking, stir the onion and shred the chicken with forks or fingers.
- When the pasta is cooked and drained, add the butter and oil to the same pot over medium-high heat with the carrots. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, then add the celery and cook for 2 minutes more.
- When the veggies are soft, add the garlic and lemon zest. Stir for one minute, then sprinkle the flour over the veggie mixture and stir to combine for one minute more. Add 2 cups of the reserved chicken cooking liquid, and bring to a bubble to thicken the mixture. Add more stock as needed to create a thin gravy.
- To assemble, add the noodles, chicken, and caramelized onions to the pot with ½ teaspoon of seasoning salt. Stir together, and taste. Add more salt or seasoning salt if you'd like, and more chicken liquid to create enough sauce to coat all the pasta.
- Serve topped with parsley leaves.
- Rotisserie chicken and 4 cups of stock could be used to save time!