Thursday, January 1, 2009

2009 predictions

I predict the upcoming year will be the year of comfort foods. The world is going through economic and political changes and as exciting as this can be there is also the element of change everywhere. Many of us will want to cling to what we know, to what is comfortable, and if we can't have that in life, we can have it on the table.

This Chicken and Noodle dish is very adaptable and happy to adjust to what you have in the house. It is warm and comforting and the leftovers are even better than the first dish.

Get an old chicken with some fat on it. Sometimes they are known as fowl. You can use a fryer in a pinch, but an old chicken tastes better done this way. A rooster even more so. If you are in NY you can go to Jeffrey's on Essex Street down in the lower east side. He literally got on his bike and went to find me a goose for Christmas. I have never had better service from any butcher in my life. He also carries incredible chickens for stewing along with just about everything else you can imagine.

Old chicken
Two big onions
Two big carrots
1 fennel bulb
4 stalks celery
Tablespoon smoked paprika
Tablespoon dried tarragon
A little oil
4 cups water or wine
A little bacon if you have it cut into bits

Any noodles or pasta you have in the house.

Salt the chicken liberally, and hit with a little pepper. Brown your chicken, whole or in pieces, whichever you prefer. If you have some bacon or salt pork, brown it too in little bits. Set your bacon aside.

Rough cut the vegetables into big chunks. Throw them in the hot oil and cook on a high heat until you get a little Carmel stuff happening. Toss in the water or wine, and seasoning. Rest the chicken on top of the vegetables, mostly submerged, but you can leave the skin just out of the water if you want it to brown.

Cook in a pot in the oven for about 90 minutes on 350 until the chicken is tender and starting to melt into the broth. Boil your noodles and stir into the broth along with the bacon. Put a big ladle of broth, noodle and vegetable in a bowl and top with chicken. Feel comforted yet?

Leftovers...shred the chicken into the the rest, warm the next day and top with a spoonful of sour cream.

This has made me hungry...I am going to head to Jeffrey's. I owe his mother a fruitcake.

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