Forgive me, I was away. Away from From Away, visiting my hometown, at my grandma’s house, and generally enjoying all things Josephine, mostly slathered in red sauce. Since I hadn’t cooked in over a week and I have no work I wanted to get into something labor-intensive. I wanted to fill a cutting board with vegetable bits and simmer the kitchen into submission. It may be unseasonably warm out but it’s chilly inside our apartment. So I sat near the oven and read while I began boiling chicken parts for stock, because it’s almost autumn and I needed food that was nutritious as well as delicious. I had a package of organic chicken from Hannaford – I think there were five drumsticks – which I layed headsy footsy in our lobster pot and covered with nothing but water. As per Josie’s instructions I brought the contents up to a boil then turned down the heat for thirty minutes, cooking the meat in its wiggly skin. I pulled the legs and in one fell swoop removed flesh from bone, then replaced the bones in the broth to cook for an hour or more. To this witch’s brew I added the ends of an onion I had in the fridge, some dried oregano, chipotle powder and cumin, as well as the last remaining leaves of basil from our sill side herb garden. Then I took a bath.
While these ingredients became greater than the sum of their individual parts, I chopped three large carrots and two stalks of celery, an entire bunch of scallions and five cloves of garlic. I cut the chicken into cubish shapes. I strained the stock into a soup pot and added the chicken, vegetables and half a box of chicken broth, salt and ground black pepper. I cooked this all together on medium low for about thirty minutes; in a separate pot I boiled a serving size of egg noodles in very salty water. It’s as simple as that. All it takes is time. No skill is required, other than patience, which I am learning. Now I’ll break it down for you:
- 5 chicken legs
- 4 quarts of water? (Honestly, I have no idea. Just half fill a huge pot, if you're an optimist.)
- 3 carrots
- 2 celery stalks, with leaves
- 5 garlic cloves
- 1 bunch green onions
- 8 ounces egg noodles
- 1 box organic chicken broth
- Chopped fresh basil
- A pinch each of cumin, chipotle, and oregano
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring to a boil your chicken parts, then simmer on low for thirty minutes. Carefully remove legs from water, strip the meat into a bowl, and toss back in the bones. Add aromatics and cook for an hour, uncovered. Chop chicken and veggies into bite-sized pieces. Strain the solids from stock, and in a smaller pot combine all ingredients, including boxed broth. Cook on medium low for half an hour. Season. My advice is to make your noodles separately so they don't become limp in the pot. Nobody likes a limp noodle. That's it. Eat it up, baby. Eat. It. Up.