Homemade Chicken Soup with Noodles Made from Scratch

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By Erik & Kate Mignault  (Kate’s Family Recipe)
 
What is it about a cup of hot chicken noodle soup that can warm your bones on a cold winter’s night?  And yes, it gets cold enough here in Texas for hot soup. In New England, my mother would use our 35° garage to store this soup over night as the pot was usually too large for our refrigerator and she was too lazy to put it away in a tupperware. We would come home from church and put it directly back on the stove to warm, and eat as a family with a loaf of crusty bread. 
 
Family recipes are a staple on this blog, what is my family’s recipe today, might be your family’s tomorrow. This soup is from my great grandmother and has a rich broth as well as a rich history. 
 
These flavors could never come from a can, most soups from a can should just stay there!
 
What you will need –
 

Chicken Soup 

  • 2 whole organic young chickens – 2 or 3 pounds each
  • 1 cup flat parsley, rough chopped
  • 1 bag of carrots, about 7 or 8 peeled and chopped
  • 4 or 5 celery stocks washed and chopped
  • 20 cups of water (filtered or bottled)
  • 1 whole onion peeled
  • 5 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon black pepper

Noodles from Scratch

  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 3/4 Flour
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup of Milk

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Unwrap and rinse the chickens. Make sure to take out any of the innards from the chickens. Most come with neck and livers inside, discard them. In a very large stock pot, (12 plus quarts) add the chickens, crushed garlic and the peeled yellow onion. Bring to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

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Meanwhile use this time to peel and chop all of your veggies, setting them aside in a bowl.

After simmering for an 1 1/2 to 2 hours, remove and discard the onion. Remove the chickens and set aside to cool. Add your bowl of chopped veg and bring the stock back to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer the veggies and stock for about 30 minutes until the veggies are soft.IMG_9403

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Once the chickens have cooled, carefully separate the chicken from the bones making sure to discard any funky pieces. Tear apart the chicken into small pieces with your hands. This will ensure that you have removed all of the bones and inedible pieces of chicken. Add the chicken back into the soup with the vegetables. Now for the noodles.

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Noodles From Scratch –

Making the noodles (Country Noodles also sometimes called Spaetzle) from scratch is the most time consuming piece of the recipe. Up until this point we’ve chopped a few veggies and waited for time to pass. In a separate pot bring 4 quarts of water to a boil, salt the water with about 1 Tbsp kosher salt. In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk, salt and flour. Mix until smooth. IMG_9451

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On a clean flat cutting board pour 1/3 of the noodle batter onto the cutting board. Use a butter knife to evenly spread the batter across half of the cutting board up to one edge. While holding the cutting board over the pot of boiling water, use the butter knife to shuck (or scrape) small, even amounts of the batter into the water. Have fun with the size of your noodles, tailoring them to the size you like. Cook the noodles in batches, making sure the water continues to boil.

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As the noodles rise to the top they are done cooking and can be transferred to the chicken soup with a slotted spoon or a spider. The noodles cook fast, in about 30 to 60 seconds depending on how large they are. Repeat and continue this process until no batter remains and all of the noodles have made their way into the stock pot full of soup.

IMG_9477Enjoy on a cool winters night with a loaf of crusty bread, such as a rye bread topped with butter.

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An Education in Drinking Good Wine – 3 Easy Tips for Learning What You Like

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In the last year I have begun my education in good wine. It started with my wife’s uncle sharing a superb bottle with us on occasion. Time after time he would bring out outstanding bottles of wine. I have to say, I was hooked. I never realized how good wine could be! Probably because I had never tasted anything of quality up until this point. In the past I’ve never been interested in spending too much money on a bottle of wine. That is not to say you have to spend lots of money to find quality wine. When starting out, I think what is hardest, is that there are so many choices. How in the world are you supposed to know what you like? It is so easy to spend a lot of money on a bottle of wine and be dissapointed.

Here are the three keys that I have found in my pursuit to finding and buying good wine.

# 1 – Start out trying different styles of wine. Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah… The list goes on and on, but the point here is that you need to find what you like. A lot of wine’s can be good quality, but just not your style. Once you find a style of wine that you like you can begin to experiment and try different price points. Have fun, maybe invite some friends over for a wine tasting? Have everyone bring a different style. Pinot Noir is a great wine to start with. It’s easy to drink and low in tannins (see # 2 to learn more about tannins). As you try wines with tannins you’ll be able to more easily recognize them. Try this Pinot Noir, it’s one of my favorites.

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Ampelos Pinot Noir 2008 Lambda. Ampelos makes several different Pinot Noirs. Make sure to get the Lambda. It’s silky smooth, very tasty, a pleasure to drink. Best of all it’s reasonably priced at about $30 a bottle.

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# 2 – Read this book… Kevin Zraly’s Complete Wine Course. The New York Times says it’s “One of the best start-from-scratch wine books ever written.” The book will give you a great overview of how wine is made, where its made (the different regions of the world). You’ll also gain knowledge of the different styles of wine and what makes them different. Get the book here on Amazon.

# 3 – Find someone that knows what they are talking about. Pick their brain, get recommendations, have them help you when making a purchase. If they are passionate about wine, they will enjoy helping you learn what you like.


Eatsie Boys Evolution – Food Truck to Restaurant

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I have been following the Eatsie Boys since early 2011. Known for their pork snuggies, this one time food truck has made the transition to Full-blown restaurant. Opening the brick and mortar restaurant just last Monday, after a soft open in December. The Eatsie Boys have done what so many food trucks dream of when starting out.

New Sign, So New it Still Has Tape on it

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I love the location in the Montrose area, here in Houston. Located down the street from the University of Saint Thomas and the museum district. I can see a lot of students making their way over after classes. They serve breakfast too, which should also be a great attraction to students. I stopped by after a visit to the children’s museum, just a few miles away.

The interior is very inviting, bright and modern. The kitchen, which is visible from the dining area almost looks like the interior of a food truck. For only being open less than a week the place was packed on Saturday for lunch. At one point there was a line out the door. It shows that the Eatsie Boys have established a name for themselves in the area. While busy, our order was taken promptly and our food delivered quickly to our table. The kitchen seemed experienced, efficiently calling out, cooking and serving orders.

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Kate (My wife) ordered Frank-the-Pretzel, chicken poblano sausage, sautéed onions, mustard, on a pretzel bun…. Interesting, right? The mustard had whole mustard seeds in it giving the dish a great texture. The bun made in the sandwich. Crusty and chewy on the outside, just like a pretzel and soft on the inside like a traditional hotdog bun. Frank’s my new friend, our favorite of the bunch… Lunch.

Frank-the-Pretzel

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I ordered the Maestro sandwich and pork snuggies, I had to try them since hearing so much about them. (Back in 2011 at the food truck festival they were unavailable due to the Eatsieboys generator not working).

When it comes to bread, I am very picky. Growing up in the Boston area I always had access to great bread. The opposite is true here in the south, it’s hard to find good bread. It’s always dry, tasteless and has no chewiness. Bread is the foundation of any good sandwich, so it has to be great. The bread used for both Frank the pretzel and the Maestro were delicious. Definitely some of the best bread I’ve had a sandwich on in all my years in Houston. Good job Eatsie Boys for choosing a premier bakery to provide such an essential ingredient.

The Maestro was made with perfectly cooked roast beef, that was just a little bit rare and very tender. Sitting on a slice of cheddar cheese and topped with horseradish aioli and caramelized onions. The horseradish aoli was nice and spicy. The sandwich was accompanied by a side salad, some mixed greens and a little dressing. The salad was nothing spectacular. Seemed more like an afterthought. The sandwich was very tasty, but I thought it was a little overpriced at $12.

Maestro

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The pork snuggies were good and creative. Pork belly, topped with a cucumber (they call it a quick pickle), green onions, hoisin sauce on a steamed bao bun (typicaly found in Chinese cuisine). I would have liked the pork to be a little more crispy and less chewy, but good overall. A salty snack with the cucumber and green onion adding freshness.

Pork Snuggies

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Eatsie boys Cafe is a nice spot to grab a bite to eat for lunch. The food is fun, creative and very fresh. Way better than what you would expect to find at a chain restaurant. It’s exciting to see a group of young guys start a food truck locally here in Houston and turn it into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. I wish these guys the best of luck and look forward to returning to Eatsie Boys to try their breakfast. In case you are wondering, the food truck still lives on. So if food trucks are more your thing, you can take your pick.

Eatsieboys.com

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