Chicken-n-Noodles a la Carcass

In Recipies on September 28, 2012 at 8:39 am

A common chorus in email to Phyne Dyning pleads for me to offer up some “regular” food.

C’mon guys! I’m not asking you to prepare lemur fillets. This is regular food throughout much of the world where there are no Applebee’s franchises. But, I hear ya.

I’m phobic about wasting food. With all of the events of the past two weeks, I overlooked a small zucchini until it was unusable, even in soup. Seriously, the find made me a bit sad.

I hope I redeemed myself when I pulled the last Shabbat’s tattered carcass of a store-bought rotisserie chicken out of the fridge, boiled the remaining meat off of it, and made chicken-n-noodles.

[Editor’s note: Shabbat supper is our one break from our nearly meatless diet. We find that we adhere to the old saying among old-world Jews: “When a Jew eats a chicken, either the chicken was sick, or the Jew was sick.” Surprisingly, we can buy a fully cooked bird cheaper than we can buy a fresh one and roast it ourselves. I’m sure it’s full of antibiotics, hormones, and depleted uranium. But, damn. They’re good.]

Before we start, let’s go through some of the cook’s notes for this fast and easy home favorite.

If kosher is a concern, (you wouldn’t buy a supermarket chicken anyway) substitute soy milk and pareve margarine for real milk and butter. Instead of garlic, use a minced shallot for a bit milder flavor. Use the unsalted chicken broth from the cooked carcass, rather than using canned or boxed broth. And, yes, you can make your own noodles. You can make them while the broth and chicken are cooling enough to handle.

1 chicken carcass

6 C water

1 C minced onion

2 cloves minced garlic (or shallot)

3 carrots peeled and sliced

2 stalks diced celery, strings peeled off

1 ½ C frozen peas

8oz wide egg noodles

2 C milk

2 TBS butter

2 TBS flour

1 ½ tsp dried Herbes de Provence

salt (optional)


Place the chicken in a large stockpot and add water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cover. Cook for 3 hours with cover slightly ajar. Remove from heat and uncover. Ladle off 2 cups of broth and reserve. Ladle off the remaining broth (approx 4 C) and freeze or store for matzo ball soup later! Strip remaining meat from the carcass and reserve on a plate. The bones may be discarded or saved to be boiled (again!) for more broth.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. For firmer pasta, cook one minute less than the instructions call for. Drain, rinse, and set aside.

Over medium heat in a large skillet, melt the butter and cook the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic (or shallot) until the onion is translucent. Stir in the meat and the Herbes de Provence. Mix the flour and milk well in a measuring cup and stir out all lumps using a fork. Add in the reserved 2C of broth and heat to a gentle boil. Slowly stir in the milk/flour mixture until the broth thickens. Stir in the frozen peas, then toss in the pasta. Season with salt (optional) and freshly ground pepper. Serve with dinner rolls.


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