THINGS I LIKE: Fern Allison's Chicken and Noodles

My mother-in--law, Fern Allison, whose roots were in West Virginia and Ohio, was a cook who made simple, hearty and delicious country dishes. Her Chicken and Noodles was the dish that introduced a Brooklyn boy to this kind of cooking and it became one of my favorites. I offer her recipe to you (with some of my suggestions at the end) for your enjoyment.

PREPARATION OF CHICKEN

1 roasting chicken or stewing hen, 4-5 lbs  
4 carrots,rough cut
2 medium onions, cut in 1/4's
5 ribs of celery, cut in one inch pieces
Salt

Place all ingredients in Dutch oven with water to cover; add salt to taste.
Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
Simmer until chicken is falling off the bone; 2-3hrs.
Remove chicken, cool and remove meat in chunks. Set aside.
Pour stock, with the vegetables, through a strainer pressing on the vegetables to get as much liquid released, as possible. Discard vegetables.
Allow stock to cool and remove fat.
Adjust seasoning.
Put one cup of stock aside for use later, if needed.

NOODLES

6 large eggs
1/4 C whole milk
3-4 C AP flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Sift dry ingredients together.
Whip eggs with milk.
Mix in 3 C of flour adding more until a stiff dough is formed. Work dough as little as possible.
Mold dough into a ball and flatten. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate 30 min.

PREPARATION OF NOODLES

Spread a layer of flour on a flat work surface.
Cut dough into quarters; remove one and keep the others wrapped in plastic.
Form dough into a rectangle; flatten, dust with flour and roll out to 1/4 in thickness.
Roll dough jellyroll fashion and slice in 1/4 inch coils.
Unroll coils, dust with flour and put aside to dry for 30 - 45 min.
Repeat with remaining dough.

CHICKEN AND NOODLES

Bring chicken stock to a rolling boil and add noodles. Cook until noodles are cooked - light and fluffy - 20 - 30 min. The noodles with their attached flour should  thicken the stock into a thick, rich,  creamy consistancy. If this has not happened, make a "slurry" by adding flour to the reserved cup of stock. Add in small amounts, allowing the stock to come to a boil after each addition, until the proper consistency is reached. Mix in reserved chicken, cook until hot , adjust seasoning and serve.

THE FOODIES COMMENTS

To make the dish more nutritional and add color, add sliced carrot, onion, and peas in the last 15 min of cooking.

Add herbs ( I like thyme and parsley)  to enhance flavor.

A heavy dose of pepper, fresly ground, improves the taste considerably.