Chicken and Noodles: A Comforting Family Favorite

Losing a loved one is never easy, but the memory of their favorite meals can keep them close to our hearts. Today, we pay tribute to my Grandpa Nip by sharing his beloved dish, Chicken and Noodles.

A Dish with a Family Legacy

Chicken and Noodles over mashed potatoes in a bowl and a spoon in the side.

Chicken and Noodles holds a special place in our family’s culinary heritage. Since my grandma’s passing, my mom has taken on the tradition of making this dish for Grandpa Nip on special occasions like Father’s Day and his birthday. It’s a recipe that has brought comfort and joy to our family gatherings.

Food has a remarkable way of helping us remember loved ones, preserving their spirit in every bite. Whenever I prepare Chicken and Noodles, it takes me back to the cherished memories I shared with this hardworking, ice cream-loving, skiing enthusiast, a man of unwavering faith. I’ll always be grateful for the wonderful times we had together.

The Classic Chicken and Noodles Recipe

Two bowls of old fashion chicken noodle soup over mashed potatoes.

Chicken and Noodles, an old pioneer recipe, brings together homemade egg noodles, tender chicken, onion, and a touch of salt. It bears a resemblance to chicken noodle soup but stands out by being served over creamy mashed potatoes.

This dish’s simplicity is part of its charm. The ingredients are household staples—affordable, versatile, and long-lasting.

Here’s What You Need:

  • Egg Noodles: Homemade egg noodles are the best, and they’re surprisingly easy to make with just flour, egg, and salt. If you’re short on time, Amish-style egg noodles are a great alternative.
  • Chicken: Opt for bone-in, skin-on cuts to infuse the broth with rich flavor and keep the chicken tender. While my family traditionally used chicken breasts, you can use thighs, legs, or wings as well.
  • Onion: You’ll only need about a quarter of an onion. Leave the skin on and throw it into the pot. Since the broth is strained later, frozen chopped onions work just fine.
  • Water: Add enough water to cover the chicken during simmering. Feel free to add more if you’d like to stretch the broth.
  • Mashed Potatoes: Chicken and Noodles is an excellent way to repurpose leftover mashed potatoes, but you can also whip up a fresh batch.
Further reading:  13 Delicious Side Dishes to Serve with Chicken Parmesan

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Place chicken, onion, and salt in a 4-5 quart Dutch oven and cover with water (about 8 cups).
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Remove the pot from the stove. Allow the chicken to cool until it’s easy to handle. Discard the skin and bones, then shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Strain the broth into another large Dutch oven or bowl.
  5. Return the broth to the Dutch oven and bring it to a boil. Add more salt to taste.
  6. Drop the noodles into the boiling broth and cook until they’re almost al dente. Fresh noodles take about 3-5 minutes, while dried noodles may take 8-12 minutes. Remember, they will continue to soften in the hot liquid. Remove from heat.
  7. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot.
  8. Serve the Chicken and Noodles over mashed potatoes, whether they’re leftover or freshly made.

Chicken and Noodles in a pot, sprinkled with black pepper.

Family Favorites for Comforting Classics

While Chicken and Noodles holds a special place in our hearts, if you’re looking for more comforting classics, be sure to check out these dishes:

  • Mini Meatloaf
  • French Onion Chicken Noodle Casserole
  • Slow Cooker Spaghetti Meat Sauce
  • Baked Ziti
  • Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Remember, cooking is about more than just sustenance; it’s a way to create lasting memories and celebrate the ones we love. Embrace the tradition of Chicken and Noodles in your home, and let its warm flavors nourish both body and soul.

(My Grandpa Nip eating Chicken and Noodles at my mom’s house on Father’s Day 2019 at the age of 92.)