GREAT GRANS CHICKEN & NOODLES ~ BLOG 366.46

This is an old family recipe that was extremely common in the midwest amongst many a farmer’s wife back in the day. My great grans even made her own noodles and would drape them all over the dining room to dry. She also started with a chicken from the yard as well as veggies from her garden.This was a family favorite long before supermarkets.

I never thought to ask, just accepted that it was that way, but this dish was always served in our house over fluffy mashed potatoes with homemade butter, which is A LOT of carbs! But, I can’t think of serving it any other way! I admit I buy packaged noodles and butter, but the rest is all scratch made.

GREAT GRANS CHICKEN & NOODLES
1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
2 carrots, rustic chopped
2 stalks celery, rustic chopped
1 LARGE Vidalia onion, quartered
3-4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/4 + 1/4 cup FRESH chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1 pound wide egg noodles
1/4 cup WONDRA flour
2 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1 LARGE shallot, chopped
Fluffy mashed potatoes

  • Place chicken pieces, 2 rustic chopped carrots, 2 rustic chopped celery stalks, 1/4 cup parsley and onion pieces into 4 quarts of salted water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes.
  • Strain through a colander and reserve broth.
  • Pick the chicken pieces, discarding the debris.
  • In the reserved broth add the sliced carrots and celery with the diced shallot and remaining parsley. Simmer covered for 30 minutes until veggies are tender.
  • Increase heat slightly and add noodles and chicken pieces, simmer 10 minutes until noodles are done.
  • Whisk the flour into 1/2 cup water until well blended. Add to simmering broth, stirring to combine and simmer 5-10 minutes until broth thickens.
  • Season to taste and serve over fluffy mashed potatoes.

GREAT GRANS BEEF & NOODLES

Substitute chuck roast for chicken.

BROCCOLI CHICKEN DIVAN ~ BLOG 365.192

Another “vintage” recipe from my friend’s grandmother’s “antique” recipe box. This type of recipe was once a staple of the working mother in many American households. I believe it was originally found on the back of a Campbell’s soup can label. I also adapted her recipe “slightly” to add a bit more flavor and texture. Quite a tasty and crunchy satisfying meal. 😀 I made this in honor of my late brother-in-law. He would have LOVED this casserole. Today would have been his birthday.

BROCCOLI CHICKEN DIVAN

2-3 small broccoli crowns, trimmed, cut into florets and rinsed
1 1/2 cups rotisserie chicken pieces
1 can Campbell’s broccoli cheese soup
1/3 cup milk
1/2 + 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup small diced red onion
2 cups prepared rice

2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoon Panko bread crumbs

  • Grease a shallow 2-3 quart baking dish.
  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Blanch broccoli florets 3-4 minutes in boil water, drain WELL and set aisde.
  • In a large bowl whisk together the milk and condensed soup until smooth.
  • Fold in 1/2 cup cheese, onion, chicken pieces, rice and broccoli florets.
  • Season with FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper.
  • Arrange mixture into baking dish, spread smooth.
  • Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
  • Mix Panko crumbs into melted butter until well mixed.
  • Sprinkle on top of cheese.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until cheese is melted, casserole is heated through and bread crumbs have turned golden.

AUNT SHARON’S CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK CAKE, OR IS IT?

I’ve always called this Aunt Sharon’s Chocolate Buttermilk cake because I got the recipe from her when I was a teenager, but I have been making it from scratch with my own flourish (specialty quality ingredients as in the homemade rum vanilla, cocoa and cinnamon) for more years than I care to admit, so is it hers or is it mine now? I have tried other recipes over the years, always looking for that new PERFECT recipe, but ALWAYS come back to this one because it just works EVERY time!

CHOCOLATE BUTTERMILK CAKE

CAKE
2 cups KING ARTHUR all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup QUALITY buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 LARGE eggs
2 sticks butter, room temperature
4 heaping tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 cup boiling water

  • Preheat the oven to 350°.
  • If you are going to cut and layer this cake prepare the jelly roll pan with parchment paper and non-stick cooking spray, otherwise leave it un-greased.
  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, stir together the buttermilk, baking soda, vanilla and eggs. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and add the cocoa.
  • Whisk together to combine.
  • Pour the boiling water in the pan and allow it to bubble a bit, then turn off the heat.
  • Pour the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture stirring together for a minute to cool the chocolate.
  • Pour in the egg mixture, stirring together until smooth, then pour into a jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) and bake for 20 minutes.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING for sheet cake
1 3/4 sticks butter
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
6 tablespoons WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups (1 pound bag) powdered sugar

  • Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  • Add the cocoa powder and stir until smooth.
  • Add the milk, vanilla and powdered sugar, stirring together.
  • Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, pour the warm icing over the top. You’ll want to avoid doing much spreading, so try to distribute it evenly as you pour.

CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM for layer cake
1 pound butter, softened
7 cups (2-1 pound bags) powdered sugar
4 heaping tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
4 heaping tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon QUALITY cinnamon
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
1 tablespoon WHOLE milk

  • Cream butter.
  • Sift together the cocoa, cinnamon and powdered sugar into the creamed butter and blend well.
  • Add vanilla, blending well. If too stiff add 1 tablespoon WHOLE milk to thin.

NOLAN RYAN MEATLOAF aka BASEBALL PITCHER RANCHER MEATLOAF

If you like baseball you’ve heard the name, but ANYONE from south Texas REALLY knows the name Nolan Ryan.  What you may NOT know is that his first passion was raising QUALITY beef and he has some of the best beef around!

NOLAN RYAN MEATLOAF with LAVA MUSTARD BBQ SAUCE

MEATLOAF
2 pounds ground sirloin, NOLAN RYAN beef where possible
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup FINE bread crumbs
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 SMALL red pepper, FINELY diced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cups shredded Jack cheese
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 teaspoons Frank’s original hot sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
FRESH ground sea salt and tri-color pepper

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • In a large bowl use your hands to combine all the ingredients until well mixed.
  • Place mixture in a greased loaf pan.
  • Bake 45 minutes.
  • Increase oven to 425° and cook 10 minutes more.
  • Top with sauce and bake 5 minutes more.
  • Serve immediately.

LAVA MUSTARD BBQ SAUCE
¼ cup unsalted butter
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
¼ cup Kentucky bourbon
1 cup barbecue sauce of your choice (I  use Sweet Baby Rays)
½ cup apple cider vinegar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon QUALITY honey
1 tablespoon COLEMAN’S dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes, but don’t allow the onion to turn brown.
  • Add the bourbon and cook off the alcohol, 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the barbecue sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, honey, mustard and cayenne. 
  • Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring at regular intervals.

NOTE:  I have to leave out the mustard due to allergies and find the sauce is still awesome!