One of my favorite Amish dishes is Chicken and Noodles. It appears often in my books, and some of my favorite childhood memories has this recipe at the center.
Even though it is so simple, Chicken and Noodles was the heart of every family reunion. It’s the fill-you-up when there isn’t enough ham or turkey to go around. It’s the side dish crowding the green beans because there isn’t enough room on the plate. And it’s the dish that put the “comfort” in “comfort food.”
There are shortcuts for the modern cook. You can use frozen noodles (Reames is one brand), or the bag of Essenhaus noodles that you can find in some grocery stores. You can use canned chicken broth and canned chicken, or pick up one of those rotisserie chickens and debone it.
But the best version is made from scratch, just like Grandma used to make it. And it’s one of those dishes that has no real recipe…you make it with love.
So, here it is:
The day before, cook a whole chicken in a large stock pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Add an onion, quartered, a stalk of celery (including the leaves), and some thyme.
Simmer for several hours – up to 24 hours – adding more water as needed. Let it cool slightly, then remove the chicken pieces with a slotted spoon. Separate the chicken from the bones and refrigerate. Strain the broth and refrigerate. (You’ll have enough chicken and broth for a couple meals.)
The next day, the fat in the broth should be a solid layer. Remove it and discard. Put the broth in a large pot and slowly bring to boiling.
Meanwhile, make your noodles.
In a medium bowl, beat two eggs slightly. Add 5 Tablespoons milk and beat together gently. Add 2 cups flour and mix until a stiff dough is formed. Work with your hands until it’s smooth. Divide the dough into four parts, and roll out very thin. Spread it out to dry.
When the dough has dried slightly, tack flour between two of the layers and roll tightly. Slice thin with a sharp knife. Loosen the noodles with your fingers and spread out to dry. Repeat with the other two parts of the dough.
You can use the noodles right away, or dry thoroughly and store for future use.
Now, put them together.
Drop the noodles into the boiling broth and cook 15-20 minutes. Add the chicken and stir.
Serve over mashed potatoes for a true Amish dining experience!
Jan Drexler’s ancestors were among the first Amish immigrants to Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and their experiences are the inspiration for her stories. Jan lives in the Black Hills of South Dakota with her husband of thirty-five years. She is the author of five books published by Love Inspired, as well as “The Journey to Pleasant Prairie” series from Revell: Hannah’s Choice and Mattie’s Pledge, and Naomi’s Hope.
Connect with Jan:
Fun blog: yankeebellecafe.blogspot.com
Facebook: Jan Drexler, Author