Chicken Noodle Soup

Any time Andy gets the sniffles, I bust this one out in some form or another...


  • 1 whole chicken / *Rotisserie Chicken* (cut some corners if you're pressed for time or energy)
  • 5 carrots; half diced, half rough chopped in 3 inch pieces
  • 1 head of celery; half diced, half rough chopped in 3 inch pieces
  • 2 leeks / 1 onion; rough chop
  • 1 shallot; cut in half
  • 1 lemon
  • fresh herbs: rosemary/thyme/sage/etc.
  • H2O
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic and chili sauce (optional)
  • s&p
  • 1/2 package egg noodles
  1. Break down the whole chicken and remove the skin (if you don't know how to do this, check out the video I posted above). Salt and pepper the pieces.
  2. Heat a large pot with a tablespoon of olive oil and brown the chicken on both sides. Set aside for later.
  3. Add the rough chopped veggies (carrot, celery, leek, shallot), reserving the smaller diced ones for a later step.
  4. When softened, add back in the chicken pieces and cover with water.
  5. Add in the herbs, soy sauce and pepper and bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 1-1 1/2 hours.
  6. Remove the chicken, then strain the liquid into a bowl and discard the veggies. Skim the fat off of the top and pour the broth back into pot.
  7. Shred the chicken (allow it to cool or use rubber gloves so that you don't burn your hands) and add it back into the pot, along with the reserved veggies.
  8. Bring to a boil and add in the egg noodles. Stir until the noodles are cooked.
  9. Taste the broth. If it needs salt or pepper, add more. For some heat, you can add the garlic chili sauce.
  10. Ladle up some of the chicken and veggies into a bowl and then top with a ladle full of the broth.
Hope this chases those sniffles away!

Feeling Under the Weather?

I'll be posting Chicken Noodle Soup tonight. It's currently simmering on the stove, so when it's all done and the dishes are all cleaned up, I'll be serving you a ladle full of my kitchen's best medicine.

Stay Tuned!


BBQ Pulled Pork (Slow Cooker Recipe)

Hey Ya'll (when I say that, I hear Paula Dean in my head)!

How about a recipe that can cook while you're slaving away at the office? Introducing BBQ Pulled Pork straight from the Crockpot. (Don't worry, you don't get swine flu from eating pork.)

If you don't own a Crockpot, head to your choice of discount stores and pick one up. We got ours on sale a while back for about $20 at Kmart. I rarely use it for anything besides pulled pork, but for that price it is worth every penny.

The best cut to use for pulled pork is Boston Butt, which is a cut that comes from the upper part of the shoulder, near the front leg. Sometimes this cut will have all or part of the blade bone in it. My friend, Carmelli, and I picked up some ribs that were trimmed from this section at Costco. It was $14 for a "Butt" load, enough to make Carnitas one night and BBQ Pulled Pork the next. (I'll see if I can get Carmelli to do a guest post on those Carnitas. They were delicious!)

The night prior to making the pulled pork, you can use your favorite rub (homemade or store bought) and season the meat. However, I've found that this doesn't exactly add a mind-blowing additional depth of flavor, so I tend to only do it when I've really preplanned the meal. When I typically make this, I'm doing it to satisfy a craving and I pick up the pork that morning and cook it right away. I think I'll do a side-by-side taste test some other time to further answer this question. For now, here's what I did:

  • Pork butt or shoulder cut ribs
  • 1 Cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • 1 beer (I used an amber)
  • 1 Tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 Tbs onion powder
  • 1 Tbs brown sugar
  • S&P
  • 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke (optional)
  • Your favorite BBQ sauce (homemade or store bought)
  • Rolls or hamburger buns
Throw the pork in the crockpot and season it with the dry ingredients. Then pour the wet ones on top. Cook on low for 8 hours, or until the meat is just about falling apart. Alternatively, you can cook it on high for about half that time.

When the pork looks to be done (again, so tender that it's barely holding together), drain out the liquid. Pull the meat apart using a fork or your fingers (if you've let it cool down) and then place your favorite BBQ sauce and the liquid smoke, if you are using it, in the pot and turn it back to low. A note on the liquid smoke... I would consider myself somewhat of a purist in the kitchen. The only frozen dinners I'll eat are Amy's Mac&Cheese. I worship fresh produce and if I were independently wealthy, I'd spend my days scouring the local Farmer's Markets for fun. That being said, Liquid Smoke adds a depth of flavor that I haven't been able to duplicate- at least not with a Crockpot. Sure, if I had a backyard and a smoker I could get cracking on the natural approach. But we're in the city. We've already set off our smoke detector using our grill on the balcony. I'm making do with the resources I have available.

Back to the basics: Cook the pork for another hour in the BBQ sauce, then serve it on either rolls or hamburger buns. I like serving it on potato rolls, which soak up the sauce and juices really nicely.

The best part about this recipe is the fact that when you come home, your house will ooze with delicious smells. During football season, I'll often get this started right before bed and then we can have it for an early lunch while we're watching the games. It's always a crowd pleaser!

You can top it with cheese, pickles, coleslaw or (as my husband has been known to do) potato chips.

I'll throw a picture up of the finished product this evening. Enjoy!


Gourmet Pizza Night- The Jimmy Pie

Well, hello there blogosphere! Long time, no post. Again, my apologies. The good news is that our oven is back in commission earlier than expected. Thank goodness for warranties!!!

Last night, we had some fine folks over and I made pizza.

Here were the ingredients I used:

1 package Trader Joe's (TJ's) regular pizza dough
1 package TJ's quattro-formaggio cheese
4 cloves minced garlic
1 package proscuitto
1 log of chevre (goat cheese)
1 package asparagus
Fresh basil
Olive oil, S&P

I doubled this recipe, got a few more things for some bruschetta as well and walked out of TJ's for under $50.

1) Let the pizza dough sit at room temperature for at least a half hour before you make the pizza. While it's resting, mince your garlic and chop your asparagus into 3/4 inch strips. Preheat the oven as high as it can go on the bake setting (set mine at 550 degrees F).
2) Cut the dough in half and stretch it into your pizza pan (this one from Bed Bath & Beyond works well and is around $10). You want it to be thin, but without holes. You may want to buy extra dough to practice this part until you get the hang of it.
3) Bake the dough for a few minutes to get it cooked enough to support the toppings. This will help give you a really nice crust.
4) Remove it from the oven and slide a spatula underneath it to loosen it from the pan.
5) Add olive oil and garlic to the crust, then top it with half the cheeses, asparagus and pieces of proscuitto. Add salt and pepper to the top to taste.
6) Place in the oven for five minutes and then when it's getting closer to done, slide it off of the pizza pan and directly onto the oven rack for some additional crisping. Bake until golden crusted and oozing with cheesy-deliciousness.
7) Use a pizza peel or a cutting board to pull it from the oven, top with freshly cut basil and dig in!

This recipe makes enough for two 14 inch pies.


New Post Coming Soon!!!

For those of you who don't know, our stove is broken. It decided to quit on us about two weeks ago and it's going to be two to three weeks before the part comes in to fix it (thanks, Frigidaire).

So, while our less-than-one-year-old-stupid-broken-stove is waiting for repair, I promise you the following posts:

1) a grilling post (watch out, Bobby Flay!)
2) a guest post (my fantastic brother-in-law is going to be cooking up somethin' for ya'll)
3) a crock pot post (Hows about we dig in to some pulled pork sandwiches???)

Happy Eating!


chicken piccata

Ok, I decided against potatoes as my side and in favor of pasta after a frustrating day at the office...

Here are the ingredients I used:

  • 4 chicken breasts, butterflied (split them in the middle so that they fan out and are thin)
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • green beans
  • fresh pasta (Nestle makes Buitoni (any my babe works for Nestle), so I use that when I don't have time/energy to make my own)
  • Olive oil and S&P
  1. Fill a pot and bring it to a boil for when it's time to cook the pasta.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Salt and pepper the chicken and then place in the pan to cook for a few minutes per side, or until they are nicely golden brown. Set aside.
  3. Add the butter and saute the garlic and shallot.
  4. Add in the flour and whisk or stir to incorporate it all together (flour and butter cooked together forms a roux).
  5. Cook the fresh pasta per the instructions (this typically only takes a few minutes, compared to dry pasta, which takes longer). Throw in the green beans to cook (if you buy french green beans, they are called hericot verts). Drain and set aside.
  6. Add the chicken stock, lemon juice, lemon zest and stir together. Then add the capers. Taste and add salt, pepper as needed.
  7. Reserve a few tablespoons of the sauce and then place the pasta in the pan and toss.
  8. Plate the pasta and green beans and then return the chicken to the pan and place the remaining sauce on top. When the chicken is warmed up, place it on top of the bed of pasta and green beans.
This dish pairs well with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc. Enjoy!