Cliff Wright's latest cookbook includes bowls of Nicaraguan chayote, Croatian cabbage and Ecuadorian peanut soup. But not to be missed is his good old chicken noodle, a time-consuming recipe that involves making the noodles by hand.
Wright introduces the recipe by recounting the history of chicken noodle soup, including its final reincarnation in canned form, which is really a rather clever (and effective) means of imploring you to take the time to make those homemade noodles. But it's cold out, or at least as cold as it's likely going to get in L.A. this year, so you might as well pull out the pasta machine. Get the recipe after the jump.
"Chicken noodle soup is one of the earliest soups for which we have a written record in any language. It is first recorded in the tenth-century Arabic cookbook by Ibn Sayyār al-Warrāq's Kitāb al-Tabīkh (Book of Cookery) where a recipe called nibātiyya is a chicken broth with vermicelli. Of course, the tenth-century recipe is a far cry from my recipe here, as it consisted of a chicken broth cooked with chickpeas and onion and seasoned with a paste made of coriander, pepper, cassia, galangal, spikenard, cloves, nutmeg, long pepper, and ginger, and was finished with rose water, cheese, and hard-boiled eggs." --Cliff Wright, on chicken noodle soup.
Old-Fashioned Chicken Noodle Soup
From: Clifford A. Wright, The Best Soups in The World.
Makes: 6 servings
For the noodles
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 large egg and 1 large egg yolk
[1/4] teaspoon salt
For the soup
2 bone-in chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 pound chicken parts (preferably a roasted carcass, or wings, feet, legs)
2 carrots, peeled and diced very small
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
10 cups water
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or more to taste
1. To prepare the noodles: in a bowl, pour the flour and make a well like a volcano crater in the center. Crack the egg into the well, add the egg yolk, season with the salt, and form into a ball, using the addition of water or egg white from your wet hands only, if necessary, to make it form. Once the ball of dough is formed move the ball onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead until you have a smooth pliable ball, about 8 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest for 1 hour.
2. Flatten the ball of dough and cut it into two. Roll each half thinner with a rolling pin. Roll the dough through a pasta rolling machine until about a millimeter thick. Roll again through the fettuccine cutter if you have one and cut it off into 3-inch-long segments. If you don't have a cutter attachment, cut the pasta with a knife into 3 x 3/8-inch strips. Arrange the fresh pasta on a table to rest and dry for 4 hours. Store the pasta until needed or continue with the preparation. (If you don't have a pasta rolling machine, cut the dough into 4 pieces and roll thin on a floured surface with a rolling pin.)
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To prepare the soup
1. In a large pot, place the chicken breasts, chicken parts, half of the diced carrots and celery, both garlic cloves, 4 tablespoons of the parsley, and 1 tablespoon of the basil and cover with the water. Bring to just below a boil over medium heat, making sure the water never bubbles but only shimmers on top, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 45 minutes.
2. Remove the chicken from the broth and let cool. Remove and discard the bones and skin and shred the breast flesh with your fingers. Set the chicken meat aside. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth-lined strainer and then return to the pot. Any meat from the chicken carcass or parts is not used in this recipe and can be saved for another purpose.
3. Add the remaining carrots, celery, parsley, and basil to the broth, bring to a boil over high heat, season with salt and pepper, and add the noodles. Cook until the noodles are tender, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and add the reserved shredded chicken breast. Simmer until the chicken is hot, about 3 minutes. Serve hot.