Apple Hot Toddy
c/o Cookie and Kate
Chicken Noodle Soup
c/o Smitten Kitchen
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
3-pound chicken, in parts or 3 pounds chicken pieces of your choice
8 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons table salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large carrot, diced (1/3-inch)
1 medium parsnip, diced (1/3-inch) (optional)
1 large celery stalk, diced (1/3-inch)
3 ounces dried egg noodles
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
Prepare broth: In a large (5-quart) heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and saute it for 3 to 4 minutes, until beginning to take on color at edges. Add the chicken pieces (if too crowded, can do this in two batches), making little wells in the onions so that the parts can touch the bottom of the pan directly. Cook chicken parts until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
Add water, bay leaf, table salt and some freshly ground black pepper and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and skim any (sorry for lack of better term) scum that appears at the surface of the pot. Simmer pot gently, partially covered, for 20 minutes.
Transfer chicken parts to a plate to cool a bit before handling. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl (ideally, with a spout) and pour soup through it.
If your pot looks grimy and you’re fanatical about having a clear soup, you can give it a quick wash before returning the broth to the pot. You can remove a bit of fat at this point, if it looks necessary. Bring the broth back to a simmer.
You may be tempted at this point to taste it and add more salt. I know this because I do it every single time, adding another teaspoon, and every. single. time. I regret this as it is too salty in the end. So, proceed with any re-seasoning with caution.
To finish and serve: Add diced vegetables and simmer them until they’re firm-tender, about 5 minutes. Add dried noodles and cook them according to package directions, usually 6 to 9 minutes. While these simmer, remove the skin and chop the flesh from a couple pieces of chicken, only what you’re going to use. You won’t need all of it in the soup. I usually use the breasts first because they’re my least favorite and benefit the most from the extra moisture of the soup. The remaining parts can be slipped into an airtight bag in the fridge (I recommend leaving the skin on for retained moisture until needed) and used for chicken salad or the like over the next few days.
Once noodles have cooked, add chicken pieces just until they have rewarmed through (30 seconds) and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with dill or parsley, dig in and let it fix everything that went wrong with your day.
Chicken Cheddar Bacon Rice Ranch Bake
c/o Cassie Craves
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups chicken stock
3 1/2 cups milk
1 packet dry ranch dressing mix
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 cup sour cream
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup cooked crumbled bacon
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat and cook the onions until translucent and softened. Add garlic, salt, and pepper and cook and stir for 30 seconds.
3. Add flour and mix well for 30 seconds, or until the mixture is bubbling. Stir stock, milk, and ranch seasoning into flour mixture.Turn heat to medium high and add one cup cheese and continue to whisk as mixture comes to a simmer. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Add rice and lower heat to medium low. Cook until the rice absorbs most of the liquid and is tender, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Stir in the sour cream, then stir in the chicken and bacon.
5. Pour the mixture into a greased 9 x 13-inch casserole. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese evenly over the rice. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbling.