Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, December 4th 2016 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
A Warm, Comforting and Healing Slow Cooker Meal
My Mom, Darla, makes this recipe a few times a month and it is delicious each and every time! You would think that chicken and noodles would really be more of a winter comfort food but I firmly believe that this is more than just comfort food, it is healing food. Sometimes, no matter the time of year or temperature, you just need something that warms and comforts the soul. This recipe provides that and so much more. Whenever my Mom makes this I am immediately taken back to my childhood when I would smell this cooking from the kitchen as I walked through the front door. Whenever I am feeling down or low and need a pick me up, somehow my Mom always knows exactly what I need; a huge bowl full of chicken and noodles.
My Mom makes this in the slow cooker, which is how I make it because it was the way I was taught. Cooking the chicken in a slow cooker, low and slow, really makes the chicken so tender and flavorful that you may never cook your chicken any other way again! After the chicken cooks and you remove it from the slow cooker, it leaves behind some of the most delicious chicken stock you can imagine. The chicken juices join with the butter, water and seasonings and create, what my Mom calls, “liquid gold”. I’ve always heard that chicken and chicken soup had healing properties and after many bowls of this, I am a firm believer.
Slow Cooker Chicken and Noodles
You can substitute chicken thighs or chicken breasts for the whole chicken in this recipe. If you prefer to use homemade noodles use your favorite recipe or try this one – Mix together 2 tablespoons milk with 1 large egg. Stir this mixture into 1 cup white all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Stir this mixture with a fork until it forms a ball. Roll the dough out on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin until about the thickness of a dime. Using a sharp knife, cut dough into thin strips, lightly flour again and place on floured baking sheet. Use as desired. For this recipe, add right into the slow cooker.
2-3 pound whole chicken, rinsed and pat dry
4 cups cold water
1 stick (4 oz.) salted butter, cubed
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 package (24 oz.) Amish noodles, fresh or frozen
Start by lightly spraying your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray, or place in a slow cooker plastic liner and tuck around the rim. Place the prepared whole chicken inside and sprinkle with the salt and black pepper. Add in the cold water and scatter around the cubed salted butter.
Place on the lid and cook on the low setting for 4 hours.
After the chicken has cooked, remove the lid and carefully lift the chicken out of the slow cooker and into a large bowl. Allow the chicken to cool for several minutes before moving on. Using a portable strainer, strain the chicken stock and remove any impurities.
After the chicken has cooled to the touch, remove the meat from the bones, discarding from the bowl the chicken bones, skin, fatty areas, and anything else undesirable.
After discarding, you should be left with only the chicken meat. Using two forks shred the meat into large bite-size pieces and place them carefully back into the slow cooker.
Add in the noodles, stir and cover. Cook an additional hour on the low setting.
Serve when the noodles are cooked through and everything hot.
Ask and Answer: Jamie, “jmnich77” on Instagram, asked what the difference was between my “Hoosier Sugar Cream Pie”, that can be found in Donna Cronk’s book, “That Sweet Place”, and the Kentucky version called, “Kentucky Sugar Cream Pie”. The difference, other than the geographical location, is that the official Kentucky version is made using brown sugar, whereas Indiana’s version is made using white granulated sugar.