Granny’s way, that is. On the noodles. The woman made tons of noodles in her lifetime. Her mother died when she was 11 which meant she had a younger sister, a father and 2 brothers who worked on the farm to cook for. Every day.
One of her specialties, besides cinnamon rolls, was noodles. I had never had homemade noodles until I headed North. In Texas, we made Chicken and Dumplings. Not noodles. I had no idea you could actually make noodles.
Until one day…it was Christmas and that meant roasted turkey, dressing (stuffing) and noodles. Always, noodles! I walked into the kitchen where she had a huge roaster (she called them “kittles”) of chicken broth going. The table was completely covered with newspapers…with some kind of dough rolled out on top of them. That’s when I discovered NOODLES.
And so I watched her. And asked for the recipe, which she did not have. Of course. She just dumped stuff into the bowl…always the same bowl. Once she had the dough made, she rolled it out over flour-dusted newspapers. Then she let the dough sit there a while before she cut it into strips. That was done while the chicken broth came to a boil. In the kittle.
I went home and got out the good old Better Homes and Garden cookbook, looking for a noodle recipe. I knew it had flour, salt and eggs but what else? And how much? I found what looked like a close version of Granny’s noodles! Yay!
I figured there was only way to find out if this recipe was even close to Granny’s. So I experimented. And this is the result. I use my recipe and Granny’s technique.
Noodles from Scratch
Note: Don’t let the length of this post scare you away from making noodles. I included extra explanations so as NOT to assume you know stuff! In other words, I AM assuming that none of us know the first thing about making noodles. Or boiling water….
In large mixing bowl combine:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, mix with a fork:
1/4 cup cream (you can use milk but the noodles won’t be as tender”
1 beaten egg
*NOTE: I triple the noodle recipe for one whole chicken.
Pour the milk/egg mixture into the flour and mix with large spoon. Eventually you’ll use your squeaky clean hands to smush it all together.
The dough needs to hold together when you form it into a ball. If it’s too dry add more cream, a little at a time.
On a heavily floured surface (This is where Granny used the newspapers. I asked her why newspapers and her answer was that they would soak up any excess moisture and are very clean AND disposable.) flatten the dough ball out with your hands. I use my handy dandy wood bread board.
With a flour dusted rolling pin, begin rolling the dough out from the center. It will take a little time and muscle, but about 5 mins. is all you’ll need! I like to roll it out to about 1/16″ because that will cook faster. If you like thick, chunky noodles, make it about 1/8″ or whatever you want! Cook the thicker noodles a bit longer tho.
I let the noodles sit there while I get the chicken part ready. Or about 30 minutes if you already have the chicken ready to go! For perspective, here’s another noodle pic:
Note how they hold together and are not fragile at all. Remember to flour that board LOTS! Keeps that sticky dough from sticking to the board. But if they do stick a bit, just take a metal spatula and run it under the noodles.
Now that you have that done, get the chicken out of the fridge. This is where you could use canned chicken or a supermarket fresh roasted chicken if you’re in a hurry. Otherwise, just roast or stew a whole chicken with some salt and pepper and a sprig of rosemary. I prefer fresh as even in the dead of winter, I can hotfoot it out to my herb garden in the back and break off some rosemary to throw in to the pot! Rosemary was created for chicken! Perfect couple!
Cook the chicken until tender. Bone it and cut meat into large pieces. Save that broth! And if you don’t have broth you can use canned chicken broth or use water with dissolved chicken bullion. But fresh out of the pan is best!
Pour the broth (about 8-10 cups) into a large pot/roaster (I cook my chicken in a roaster and use same roaster to cook the noodles.). Add salt and pepper to taste and bring a rolling boil.
Now add the noodles slowly to the broth and bring to a boil again. Reduce the heat to simmer and put the lid on. Cook for around 30 mins. depending on the thickness of the noodles.
Add the cut-up chicken when the noodles are tender. Make a thickening out of either flour or cornstarch and pour slowly into the pan. You may need to add more broth or water if you like it soupier. Whatever. There is no wrong or right way to make this!
Nothing better on a cold, snowy night than Chicken and Noodles and a hot cup of coffee! Granny always served this with oyster crackers and alongside the turkey and dressing, which reminds me. Turkey works as well as the chicken! Also a good way to recycle that turkey ONE MORE TIME!!! When Granny made the noodles to go with the turkey and dressing, she didn’t put the meat into the noodle mixture. It was a side dish!! Kinda like when Lucy and I hit Cracker Barrel and she orders Chicken and Dumplings with her side…of dumplings. Go figure.