Nettie smith's chicken and noodles

Yield: 8 Servings

Measure Ingredient
4 cups All-purpose flour
6 Eggs
½ teaspoon Salt
2 tablespoons Water
2 3-1/2 lb chickens; cut in half
Chopped parsley for garnish
3 pounds Chicken backs and necks
3 Carrots; cut up (don't peel)
1 Yellow onion; peeled, chopped
4 Stalks celery; chopped
2 Whole bay leaves
1 teaspoon Whole thyme leaves
1 teaspoon Whole sage leaves
10 Whole peppercorns
Salt to taste

NOODLES

CHICKEN

STOCK

SERVES 8-10

Nettie Smith was my paternal grandmother, and she was a grand woman indeed. She looked and thought like Eleanor Roosevelt, and she would be very flattered that I should say this about her here. She was a Democratic member of the Washington state legislature and a "Wobbly," an early union organizer in the Pacific Northwest. And she was tough. The old girl had a pistol that she used to use for shooting rattlers when the children were being raised in Montana. She was bright and charming, too. Oh Lord, how I miss her.

While she was a wonderful and exciting person, Grandma Smith was not a cook. I know it's a terrible thing to say about your grandmother, but she was an awful cook. She used to cremate a turkey each Christmas . . . and the whole family had to attend the service. However, the following dish was hers, and she did it well. She could feed her whole family, eight people in all, with one chicken, just by using this recipe.

I have worked on this dish until it tasted like my childhood. I think that you will find it delicious, too.

Prepare the noodles: Place the flour in a large bowl and add the eggs and salt. With your fingers, pinch the flour into the eggs and then stir with a wooden fork until grainy. Add the water and knead into a heavy dough. Knead on a marble board until smooth. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.

Divide the dough into 4 equal balls. Roll each out to about 12 inches in diameter. Use plenty of flour. Leave each circle to dry on the counter for ½ hour.

Place the stock ingredients in a 20-quart kettle and cover with 5 quarts of water. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for ½ hour.

Place the chicken halves in the stockpot and cover. Simmer for 45 minutes and then remove the chicken halves to cool. Separate the bones and skin from the meat and return the bones and skin to the pot. Keep the meat covered in a separate container. Continue cooking the stock for another 45 minutes.

Place 1 of the noodle circles on top of another and roll up tightly like a jelly roll. Repeat with remaining circles. Slice into ⅓-inch-wide rolls and then separate into noodles. Sprinkle more flour on the noodles and allow them to dry on the counter for at least 1 hour before cooking. You can allow them to sit there up to a whole day before cooking.

NOTE: You can also roll the noodles using an Italian pasta machine.

Separate the dough into 6 snakes and run them through the machine to the thickness you like. Use plenty of flour when cutting into noodles. This method is much easier than the hand-rolled method.

Drain the stock from the pot and discard all else. Remove the fat from the stock and return the stock to the kettle. You should have about 4 quarts. If not, add water to make up the difference. Bring the stock to a rapid boil. Shake the excess flour off the noodles and add to the kettle.

Boil gently until the noodles are tender, about 11 minutes. Add the deboned chicken meat to the noodles and bring to a simmer again. Check seasoning and add salt and pepper if required. Serve in a large bowl with a chopped parsley garnish. This dish will be very thick and rich.

Be sure that you think some old left-wing thoughts when serving Nettie's noodles!

This is a whole meal, and I mean whole. Add a salad and some green vegetables.

From <The Frugal Gourmet Cooks American>. Downloaded from Glen's MM Recipe Archive, .

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