Chicken Noodle Soup + Cream Chicken Sandwiches

Hi friends! Let’s cue the end of a blogging hiatus. Those are necessary sometimes. A hiatus. I didn’t exactly make a conscious decision to take a break from blogging the last few months. Rather, life happened. I got busy. My time management skills slipped a bit and if we’re being honest, as we always should be, I lost a little motivation. It all makes writing today even better though, because it reminds me this blog means something significant to me and I have a true passion for writing and sharing recipes, cooking techniques and every day experiences with you all. I don’t know many of you personally, but if you’re reading this now I know you’re the best kind of friends to have. You’re the people who understand time away and are there to pick up where we left off at the drop of a hat, or in this case an email alert telling you about my new post. If this happens to be the first post you are reading on my blog, welcome! You’re in good company and we’re thrilled to have you!

I’ve never dedicated a blog post to anyone; it’s a wonderful idea and I have the perfect person in mind for this post. My sweet Grandpa. I almost typed Grandfather feeling the need to be sophisticated, but I only called him Grandpa. He called me rotten tomato when I was teeny tiny (guilty on the rotten part), then I graduated to tater and after I got married he would say “hello Mrs. Butler” when I called on the phone. And every time I said ‘Bye, Grandpa’ he’d reply ‘Bye, sweetie’ and I’ll tell ya…that just warmed my heart in a way he never knew. I say these things in past tense, because we recently (temporarily) lost this gem of a man. He had a strong will to live and fought hard to stay here with his family, but God said it was his time to go on his next and greatest adventure and I can’t really do anything but thank God for relieving him of his pain and suffering. We were all blessed with his peaceful ending on Earth too. He could have easily been miserable in the hospital or a depressing nursing home, but he wasn’t. He was in a beautiful homey room, made comfortable by the most caring staff and surrounded by those he loved most. Nothing quite takes the sadness away, but it’s essential to focus on the good that can be found in everything.

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I made a spontaneous trip to see that guy pictured above just two days before he passed. Isn’t it funny the way God makes decisions for you? I’m an indecisive person who likes to plan. Spontaneous is not a common word my dictionary. I talked to my Mom on a Wednesday night (at which point we thought we still had weeks left with him) and just felt compelled to hop in the car and drive into town the next day. I will always cherish those last couple visits we had talking and listening to his favorite XM Radio station, 50s on 5. My Grandpa and I share a love for classic 50’s music and I envision us dancing to it together later. And would you believe XM radio had a free promotion going on the same weekend? That promotion allowed me to listen to 50’s on 5 on my way back home the day after he passed; it felt like he was smiling down at me and we were listening to it together. Those kind of moments, photos and everlasting memories will hold us over until we meet again. Along with our biggest blessing in life. The knowledge of eternity.

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Now, my Grandpa was a little bit (sarcasm) of a picky eater. This soup and sandwich was not his favorite. That’s why the post was originally titled Reverse Seared Steak. Have you seen those cooking videos by Tasty on Facebook? They make everything look mouthwatering good. I pinned a video of reverse seared rib eye steak a while back and thought I’d give it a try, because my Grandpa loved steak! The technique is to cook the steak to medium rare in the oven and then transfer to a skillet of olive oil, butter, garlic, Rosemary and Thyme to finish. I did this. Twice. I wasn’t satisfied with the technique, my steaks or the mess I’m still not sure how I created in the kitchen. I thought about posting it anyway, but I just can’t share something unless I’m 100% behind it. If you have a great way for cooking steak in the oven or on the stove please share and I’ll give it another whirl! For now, we’re going with Chicken Noodle Soup and Cream Chicken and for those of you who aren’t picky you won’t be disappointed!

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I actually made this months ago and never got around to posting it. Maybe there’s a reason for that. It seemed like the second best choice for my Grandpa’s post, because I made it with my Grandma at their house. That’s their kitchen table and a serving tray that’s been in the family longer than me. My Grandpa may not have been a taste tester for us on this particular occasion, but he was always a great supervisor and during our Christmas baking last year he was a photographer too snapping photos of my Mom, might as well be sister in law, Grandma and me in our matching aprons πŸ™‚ We’ll be putting those back on before we know it with the seasons flying by as usual. Fall is right around the corner and this meal is going to be the perfect comfort food on chilly evenings! My Grandma also recently shared the great idea of making the cream chicken on its own and serving that over biscuits and/or mashed potatoes! Add a side of canned green beans and you have yourself another scrumptious Fall dinner!

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Speaking of her, my Grandma is turning 55 for the 20th time today! (When you’re a kid, it’s really difficult to keep track of your parents and grandparents’ ages!) She’s certainly one of the strongest people I know and someone I admire greatly. She cared for my Grandpa in a way noone else could have – he was…is…a blessed and spoiled man πŸ™‚ I love you, Grandma. Happy Birthday!!

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Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup and Cream Chicken Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 – 4 large celery stalks, diced
  • 3 Chicken Breasts, bone in
  • 11 Chicken Thighs, bone in
  • Scant Tbsp Salt
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 16 oz Thin Amish Noodles
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Cornstarch (amount will vary)
  • Hamburger buns or Bread for sandwiches
  • Crackers for soup, optional

Instructions

  1. Cook the chicken for around two hours in a large pot with enough water to cover the chicken. Once it begins to boil, half cover the pot with a lid to prevent water from boiling over.
  2. Chop carrots, celery and onion. Set aside.
  3. Remove chicken and place on a baking sheet to cool. Strain the broth into a bowl. Reserve four cups of the broth for the cream chicken. Pour the remaining strained broth back into the large pot.
  4. Add the chopped vegetables to the broth in the large pot. Season with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, allow to simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. While the vegetables simmer, cook the noodles in a separate pot of boiling water. This will eliminate the issue of noodles absorbing your broth in the soup!
  6. Remove the skin and de-bone the chicken. Add half the chicken to the soup broth with vegetables and save the other half for the cream chicken.
  7. Drain the noodles and add cooked noodles to the soup. Finish with fresh or dried parsley, if desired.
  8. For the cream chicken, add the remaining half of the chicken to a medium sized pot on the stove holding your reserved 4 cups of broth. Over medium high heat, gradually stir in cornstarch to thicken. Start with 1/4 cup and add more until desired thickness is reached.
  9. Add water or packaged chicken broth to the soup or chicken if needed – extra broth for soup or to thin cream chicken if it gets too thick.
  10. Get cozy and enjoy πŸ™‚

*Quick tip – This recipe makes quite a bit, but both the soup and cream chicken freeze well! I suggest making the large batch and freezing half for an easy lunch or dinner later!

*If you want to make only cream chicken – cook chicken in water on the stove like in step one, remove cooked chicken to de-bone and shred, strain broth, pour broth back into the pot along with the shredded chicken and gradually add cornstarch to thicken. Season as desired. This can also be done using a crock pot!

 

As always, thanks for reading!!

 

 

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