I love noodles. All noodles, no matter the shape and size. Hot noodles with butter and salt. Creamy garlic noodles. Spaghetti noodles. Asian noodle soup. I really don’t care where the recipe comes from. If it’s got noodles, there’s a really big chance I’m going to love it.
I love mashed potatoes, too. Seriously. Didn’t you read yesterday’s recipe? But never in my life had I thought about having them together until I got to Illinois. Out in the Midwest, the have this thing about spooning noodles over mashed potatoes. I know! Sick, right? I mean, that’s almost as bad as dogs and cats living together! Oh, wait… forget that last. I’ve had dogs and cats under one roof many times in my life. But, anyway…. noodles and mashed potatoes on the same plate. Eeeewwwwwww….
But then I tried it. Lo and behold, it was awesome!
The recipe that introduced me to this phenomenon was called Chicken and Noodles. Evidently it’s well-known in the Midwest that Chicken and Noodles actually means Chicken and Noodles and Mashed Potatoes. Thing is, the friends who invited me for dinner didn’t say anything about mashed potatoes, so I was caught totally unaware when it was all poured over a big mound of mashed potatoes. But being a respectful guest, I kept my misgivings to myself and forked a spoonful into my mouth.
Oh. My. DOG!!! It was fabulous! I wolfed down the whole plate in minutes. Then another. Then another. I stopped at three because that’s how many my friend had. If he had gone for a fourth, I’d have been right there with him.
So… Chicken. Noodles. Mashed potatoes. Go!
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
s stalks celery
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
2-3 teaspoons dried parsley
16 oz. frozen noodles or substitute
3 tablespoons Wondra® flour
1/4 cup half and half
1 can baby peas (optional)
Place chicken in large stock pot and cover with 4 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes to an hour.
Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool a bit.
Chop carrots, celery and onion. Add to pot.
Let everything simmer for 20 minutes so the whole pot is happy.
Shred chicken and return to pot.
Add frozen noodles to pot.
Simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes.
Put flour and half and half in small jar with tight seal. Shake like there’s no tomorrow until flour is completely dissolved.
Pour flour mixture into pot in thin stream, stirring as you do so. Simmer another 5 minutes, or until broth has thickened into a nice gravy.
If desired, add a can of baby peas to pot while waiting for gravy to thicken.
Serve immediately over mashed potatoes.
The peas are my idea. There’s absolutely no need to put them in there. But whenever I add a green vegetable, the recipe then qualifies as Healthy. So I use them.
Frozen noodles are really the way to go here. But if you can’t get them, go ahead and use a bag of dried noodles. If you do it this way, I highly recommend you do NOT add the noodles to the chicken. Instead, cook them and store leftovers separately so the noodles don’t get too soggy.
Now obviously, this is a meal that doesn’t need more starch. Believe it or not, however, most people I know in the Midwest serve this with rolls or biscuits.
As always, have fun with this one. And be sure to make extra. You’re going to want it! And don’t forget to…
Play with your food!
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