Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicken Soup on the Spending Diet

So, I've been whining all week about being sick with this stupid cold and I finally decided that no one was going to make me chicken soup.  Since I feel moderately better today, I thought I would make up a batch myself for dinner tonight.  Justin took the younger boys down to visit his parents for Easter today and now there will be dinner waiting when they get back.  As I was getting everything together, I realized how much this recipe, handed down from my grandmother and billed as "chicken and noodles" is a cheap way to whip up dinner and so in line with the spending diet I've been working on.  My grandma knew how to stretch a dollar and she could make amazing meals out of an empty pantry and feed four hungry kids.  This is my all time favorite meal.

So, here's my grandmother's recipe for chicken soup with homemade noodles.  It's easy, it smells fantastic, and it's just what you want if you are looking to use up the chicken in your freezer.

Either the night before or in the morning, make the noodles:

2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tablespoons milk
2 cups flour

Mix together beaten eggs, salt, and milk.  Add flour and mix together until a stiff dough forms.  Roll dough out as thin as possible and let sit for about a half hour.  When the edges look dry, take a knife or a pizza dough cutter and slice into noodle size portions.  Spread out and allow to dry on wax paper until an hour before you are ready to eat (basically all day or overnight in a ziploc freezer bag).

In the afternoon:

1 small boiling chicken or chicken parts (you can actually get away with two chicken breasts)
3 chicken bullion cubes
Garlic salt
Salt
Pepper
Onion salt or small onion, chopped fine
1 bay leaf

Cook chicken pieces in enough water to cover the chicken with the other ingredients above for approximately an hour and a half, or until the chicken is falling off the bone.  Remove chicken from broth and put into refrigerator to cool.  Leave broth in large cooking pot and set aside.

When chicken has cooled down and it's about an hour before dinner time take chicken out and remove from bones and add to broth.  Bring to a boil and add noodles, more salt, and pepper.  Cook for 45 minutes to an hour and eat.  Easy as pie (easier, actually), tasty, and WAY cheap.

You can pick up a small chicken at the store for $3 to $4 if you don't have any in the freezer.  The rest of the ingredients, you probably already have on hand.  This will feed four people dinner and give you another two or three leftover meals for lunches.

And it's great medicine if you have a cold.

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