Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Screwed Up Chicken Noodle Soup
Not screwed up at all... Those are just spiral pasta ... Tri-colored vegetable pasta. Which makes me wonder, for some reason, my eyes were glazing over in the grocery aisle, and could not compare the whole wheat pasta with the tri-colored vegetable pasta. Maybe someone smarter than myself would fill me in on the health differences. Me, I just like the colors...
Ohhh Ahhh Pretty.
Actually, let me get back to the Cul de Sac Cuisine aspect of this meal. Part of living in a Cul de Sac is the competitiveness among the cooks. We have Chili cook offs, Mardi Gras progressive dinners and coming soon will be a chicken wing throwdown. All in good fun, but competitive as any Texas football rivalry. Here in my virtual Cul de Sac, I recently saw Heather, over at GIRLICHEF post an amazing Chicken Noodle Soup. That's a picture lifted from her blog to the left. It looked so good, I knew I wanted to give it a shot. And BTW, if you are looking for a great traditional chicken noodle soup recipe, go give those links a click. Her's is as perfect as you could ask for.
But, in the spirit of "Anything you can do, I can do better"... well, different anyway, in the spirit of Cul de Sac Cuisine, where two identical dishes could end up served to the same people, I decided to give mine a little twist. Mine is almost identical to Heathers, just the twist of the spiral pasta in place of her recommended kluski noodles and I toyed with the spices a bit. The green in the tri color did make my soup green in place of heathers nearly clear broth, but I got over my aversion to green food about three months ago, so I didn't mind the color change at all.
This is another one of my "What to do with a Rotisserie Chicken" posts; in more ways than one. Not only the chicken in the soup is taken from this week's rotisserie bird, but the stock was made from the bones of last week's bird (and next week's soup is very likely to come from this week's bones). With food and gas prices in the news this week, being cheap and taking advantages of the entire bird just makes good financial sense. So stock from bones is a habit now... that's how we roll in the Cul de Sac!
You can make stock as complicated as you like. Me, I actually make more of a broth than stock, and so easy I could do it in my sleep (in fact, since it simmers the day away, I do take a nap midday. I rarely go the entire week without using a gallon of the stuff. So, no need to freeze. I am also not a restaurant, where consistent flavor and taste is vital to consistent flavor and taste of the dishes coming from the menu. So, I just grab my big pot, fill with water, add the bones (and skin with the spices built in)), add a couple pieces of whatever I have in my veggie drawer that is close to going bad... Onions, peppers, potatoes, celery, ginger., etc. Allow the stock to simmer for 5-6 hours and you are all done. It has a different taste each time, depending on how much skin is left on the bird, which veggies are in your drawer, how much water you use, etc. But, that's fine with me, as long as I get good use from the bones, I can make lots of things with fresh chicken stock.
Like this soup...
OK, with great thanks to heather, here's what I did...
in my big pot, I filled it up about 3/4 of the way with chicken stock.
I added 4 cut up carrots
4 cut up celery stalks
1 onion cut into large chunks (the pieces separate)
I grated 2 TBS of fresh ginger into the pot
I added 2 TBS of my "Not Your Grandmother's Herbes de Provence" spice mix (the spice mix I make once a month for just an occasion like this. Girlichef used thyme, parsley and bay leaf in her soup)
I also used one bag of tri-color Pasta
and the meat from 1 rotisserie chicken diced small
Salt and pepper to taste.
I mixed the first five ingredients together and got the soup to simmering for about 2 hours, until the carrots were soft.
Next I added the pasta and cooked that in the broth for another 20 minutes, until it was cooked
Finally, I added the already cooked chicken to the mix, added additional salt and pepper to taste and cooked until the chicken is completely warmed... about 3 more minutes.
Heather, it sure looks different from yours, but it sure did taste good.
Thank you so much for the inspiration, you're welcome in the Cul de Sac anytime!
Oh, and come back tomorrow for another treat... These incredible cheesy corn muffins, gluten free and perfect to serve with the soup!