It doesn’t have to be fancy and complicated to taste really really good. Chicken and noodles are The Perfect Example of this maxim. Now my Mimi would make homeade noodles rolling the dough out on her tiny (compared to today’s kitchens) counters and breakfast table and cutting them by hand on a Sunday morning to go with fried chicken dinner that night.
I take a far simpler, and almost as delicious, approach than my Mimi. I start with a big package of chicken thighs with the skin and bones. Salt and Pepper them liberally on both sides and place in a crock pot. Cover with 8 cups of chicken broth or water–note broth makes it far tastier. I made it with stock one time and it was too rich to eat. Add 1 can of cream of something soup and a stick of butter. Yes a whole stick, unless you REALLY care about your arteries in which case you can use less. Your call. But butter makes everything better, another important maxim in cooking.
Let cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-6 hours. When its cooked, remove the chicken, skin and any bones with a slotted spoon and set the chicken aside to cool. Add 1 package of egg noodles to the broth. Let the noodles cook in the broth for 30-45 mins. Meanwhile, chop the cooled chicken and add to the noodles. I like to include a can of those LeSeur baby peas everyone in my family loves.
This dish usually needs salt and pepper at table. Or that could just be me. My Mimi was born and raised on a farm in Davenport, Iowa and I will not lie the woman loved her salt (and butter and cream and sugar). Unfortunately I share the same prediliction. But I try to make up for the rich food I love by eating small portions and saving the calories for when they really really count.
All this dish needs is a salad and in the spirit of my Mimi I am making a jello mold. I do not have any fancy molds like my grandmother but I have a loaf pan. To balance out the richness of the chicken and noodles we are having a lemon jello with mixed berries and club soda. If I were to offer a menu like Mimi this meal would also include dinner rolls (with even more butter), green salad, corn, green beans, coffee and pie. But if I ate like that today I would probably explode into a million pieces.
My Mimi lived to the ripe old age of 92, enjoying her family, food and the occaisonal cocktail to the very end. Pass me the butter!