|My dear, sweet friend, Ellie, is holding a one off Nostalgia event in hopes that everyone will share a story about a food that brings back memories.. so how could I let her down?|
Well duh. Of course I couldn't let her down. Sheesh.
I've blogged a lot about my favorite dishes enjoyed in the years growing up but somehow this one slipped my memory - maybe because I'd never tried to replicate it in my own kitchen. I was sitting at the kitchen table with Hubbs discussing this very subject. Wondering out loud what the hell I was going to write about. And as we were going back and forth about favorite foods from our childhood (because that's what I wanted to hit upon) I stunned myself by actually "misplacing" this dish in the recesses of my memory! How could I forget it? It's not like my mom made this every once in a while - hell no, it was a staple in our family's weekly dinners and I love it! My mom's chicken & noodles.. you can't get more simple and delicious than this dish.
I can't really say that I associate this dish with one memory only - instead, thinking about this stick to your ribs, comforting meal reminds me of many occasions. For example, this was the first dish that my youngest sister ate as a solid food and didn't actually spit out and fling back into my face. I remember her tasting it, as I instinctively held my hands up in front of my face, and her smiling and doing this grunt thing that she did when she was pleased with her food. That might have been the first feeding where I came out unscathed.
I remember this being dinner the night our part of the state received the worst ice storm in it's history.. sittin' all cozy, eating this yummy chickeny noodley concoction in front of the tube - most likely getting my fix of The Fonz, Richie, Potsie & Ralph Malph (what can I say? I was a sucker for the bad boys, the good lookin but vacant boys and red heads!).. and then an hour or so later, no power. Dead of winter, nothing but inches upon inches of ice outside and us with no power for 2.5 days. I will NEVER forget the kind of cold you feel INSIDE your body when you've spent over 48 hours with no heat. And this is also the reason why, I give as much money as we can to Ohio's homeless funds.. I can't even imagine how those people survive our winters. *shudder*
And finally, although the memories go on and on, the last one I want to share is that this was one of the last dinners my dad requested before he left us.. my mom came home from work (by this time, we'd shut the restaurant down and she had taken a job at the local Rite Aid) checked on him and then made this for him. And blah dee blah blah blah I can't write any more without getting all blubbery.. so yes! How could I forget this dish??
So without further ado.. I'll share this recipe.. make it one night when you want something comforting - use whichever chicken part you'd like.. change up the egg noodles for klusky noodles or whatever floats your noodle boat.. add more veggies or substitute a vegetable for the sweet peas.. whot evah. Just make it, I'm pretty sure you'll like it. =)
The recipe below will feed 4 people with generous portions
8 chicken thighs, skin on & bone in
1/2 c. flour
Salt and pepper
Enough oil to just cover the bottom of your pan
4 c. chicken stock + enough water to make enough gravy - can't give an exact measurement, you'll have to "eyeball" it.
Enough flour to thicken the gravy - I think I end up using 2-4 TBS. ?
1 can sweet peas
3 sm. cans of sliced mushrooms
1 lb. bag of egg noodles
Garlic powder to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat the oil in your electric fry pan, or very large skillet if you don't have an electric fry pan. I set mine on 350º F.
Mix the flour with the salt & pepper in a shallow bowl or plate, dredge the thighs in the flour mixture. Place the thighs in the hot oil and brown on both sides. Remove and set aside.
Add the stock, water and flour to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring often, until as thick as you desire. Add the peas and mushrooms. Allow to simmer for a few minutes.
In the meantime, or even ahead, cook your egg noodles until al dente in salted water.
Once your gravy is thickened and your noodles are cooked, add the chicken and noodles back into the fry pan and mix well. Heat this mixture until warmed all the way though - about 10 to 15 minutes. Done!