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The Age-Old Mystery

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

The chicken, of course. In the beginning, God created animals, not eggs. Adam named animals, not eggs. If eggs had come first, Adam would have had noodles but no chicken. So that brings up the next question:

Where do noodles come from?

Well, ya gotta break some eggs! Actually, pasta is one of the simplest foods–a pile of flour, a few eggs, a pot of boiling water–simple. Here’s the tasty recipe for my home-made Chicken and Noodles. Apologies for the last pic–gotta get more light in the kitchen so the camera will focus.

Where do noodles come from?

My Pretty Brown Eggs

On your counter or large cutting mat, pile up the flour, sprinkle the salt over the flour, mix it in a little and make a well in the center of the flour–just stick your fingers in the flour and make a bowl shape to hold the eggs. Crack the eggs and, with a fork, begin incorporating the flour into the eggs, working from the center out. You’ll know when to switch from the fork to your hands. You will end up kneading in most of the flour–don’t feel that you have to use all the flour or add a little more if its really sticky. Just knead it like clay till it forms a fairly smooth ball. At this point I usually cover it with some plastic wrap and let it rest on the floured board. Actually, I am letting me rest, but the dough probably needs it, too–to give the flour time to actually absorb all the egg.

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Rollin’ the Dough!

Because I have a small counter space, and because it is easier to work with smaller amounts, I usually divide my dough into several pieces. Use plenty of flour on your board and your rolling pin. Just roll and turn and roll some more till the dough is as thin as you want it. I make mine as thin as I have energy for–the noodles will be twice as thick once they are cooked, so don’t quit too soon! And don’t stress if your dough splits along the side or takes on a funny shape–we’re making noodles here, not pie crust.

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What’s Harder than Watching Noodles Dry?

Once your dough is rolled thin, it’s time to cut. Use the pizza cutter or a knife to cut them as wide or as narrow as you like–remember, they will be a little wider once they are cooked–and the cuts don’t have to be perfect. Noodles are an artisan dish. A quick way to breeze through the cutting is to roll the flattened dough up, jelly roll style, cut off slices then shake them out into a loose pile. Spread noodles out to dry, sprinkle lightly with flour, let them sit uncovered for at least an hour–several is better.

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Turning Those Noodles into Dinner

Chicken and Noodles

For the Noodles:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt

For the “Chicken and Noodles”

1 medium onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
3 celery ribs, diced
2 Tbsp Canola or Olive oil
4 cups chicken stock
salt (amount depends on how salty the stock is–taste it)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 bay leaf (optional, but it really enhances the flavor)
1/2 tsp. dried rubbed sage or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme or rosemary, minced
1 recipe egg noodles
2 cups cooked chicken, broken into pieces

Method:

Make and dry the noodles according to directions above. After the drying period, noodles may be cooked immediately or stored in an air-tight container, in refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

When ready to cook noodles, begin heating a large dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat, add oil, onions, carrots and celery. Sweat the veggies for a few minutes till onions become slightly translucent. Add stock, salt, pepper, bay leaf and sage. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Add the noodles, and any flour that clings to them. (There should be enough liquid to cover noodles.) Adjust heat and simmer till noodles are tender–about 20 to 22 minutes. Stir in the chicken to heat through. Adjust salt and pepper. Serve steaming hot. Serves 2 to 4

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