Well, Turkey Day came and went. Unfortunately, in between the “came” and “went”, my husband and I got the nastiest case of the stomach flu that I’ve ever encountered in my life. No joke. We spent the entire day at my father’s empty house, while the rest of the family enjoyed a lovely feast a my mom’s house.
I honestly didn’t have one bite of turkey the entire weekend. My father brought me a plate from the dinner, but I was only able to nibble at one of my mother’s famous dishes, Chicken and Noodles.
Chicken and Noodles are a staple in Central Illinois, where I grew up. They’re kind of like chicken and dumplings, except the dumplings are replaced with thick homemade egg noodles. Not the thin “no-yoke” variety. Nope. These suckers stick to your ribs. Basically a dumpling consistency, cut into strips.
Got it? Good. I think I killed that one.
So, since I wasn’t lucky enough to partake in the Thanksgiving Day food fest, my mom sent us home with a large portion of leftover turkey meat. I had some noodles in the freezer and thought I’d make mom’s chicken and noodle dish with the turkey. Genius, I know. Ha!
These noodles are pretty close to the way my mom’s homemade ones taste. No perfectly the same, but they work in a pinch. There are also dried “Amish” noodles that you can often find around the holidays that are also a great substitute for the real deal.
Turkey and Noodles
- 8 cups chicken broth (4 regular cans)
- 2 cups water
- 3 cups turkey, cubed or bite size
- 2 Tablespoons onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- bay leaf
- salt and pepper to taste, you will need a decent amount of salt because the noodles will soak up a lot of flavor
- 1 (24 oz) bag Reames frozen noodles
Place all ingredients, except noodles, in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and carefully add noodles. Return to a boil and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until noodles are done. Another alternative is to place the mixture into a crock pot on warm after bringing the noodles to a boil. Be careful not to overcook them in the crock pot otherwise the noodles will become mush and your dish will be too thick.This dish is pretty heavy, but very homey. It’s the perfect thing on a cold day or for, say, those recovering from Ferocious Flu 2010. I’ve made it with chicken a few times and added carrots and peas to the mix. That’s not the traditional Midwestern preparation, but it “healthifies” the meal a bit more.
Another crazy tradition with this dish, is to serve it over mashed potatoes. Yep, as if the starchy goodness of the noodles isn’t enough, why not smother some spuds with them. I’m assuming that tradition probably comes from our hardworking farmer ancestors that could afford such a carb overload AND needed to stretch each meal as well as they could. It’s a little too white on white on white for me.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday…at least better than ours anyway. We’re looking forward to a healthier Christmas holiday with lots of decorating and candy making.