Tales of a Wookie Wife: Fueled by caffeine and good intentions. Feed hairy man. Clean house. Be fabulous. Repeat. You can learn more about me here.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup with BONUS Chef Basket Review!

I hope no one out there started off the new year like we did.  We started it out by promptly coming down with wickedly viscous colds.  Fuckin' splendid.  No better time for Chicken Noodle Soup, though, right?

First thing to do is fill a pot up with water and put it on the stove on high.

Next, get your chickens...Usually, I'd do something like this with a whole chicken, but that isn't necessary.  I was making a fairly small batch, so I just used a chicken thigh since it was what I had on hand.

While that thigh is boiling, chop up one medium onion and toss it in there.

Next, season things up a bit.  Just season to taste.  This is an important thing to learn because your chickens won't always be the same size.  Unless they are weird, mutant chickens of some sort, in which case, FUCK THAT, GO FIND A REAL BIRD!  :)  I used Tony Cacherie's, garlic, parsley (pictured in the baggie, I dried it myself...MUCH cheaper to buy fresh and dry), chicken seasoning salt, sea salt, black pepper, and turmeric.  In case you aren't aware, turmeric rocks.  Now you know.

Let it all boil so the chicken cooks through, then remove the chicken to cool so that you can de-bone it later.

While the chicken is cooling, chop up about 4 stalks of celery and 4 carrots and toss them into the broth/onion/seasoning mix.  Then, de-bone the chicken once its cool enough to handle and toss the meat back into the pot.

Mmmm...What's missing?  Noodles!  Good time to review my Chef Basket.  Note that I am not being paid for this review...If I were they probably certainly wouldn't be happy with me.  I got this as a gift and figured it would be fun to test it out, so I put the noodles in it, stuck it in the pot, and let them cook.  My pot was apparently more narrow than the as-seen-on-tv one, so I had to sort of angle it in there.  No biggie.  The handles still stayed cool, which was pretty neat.

The first thing you notice when you look at one of these is that spaghetti, fettuccine, or any other long, flat noodles will be out of the question as will any smaller noodle varieties.  The holes are just too big.  However, farfalle seemed like it would do just fine, so I was okay with that.  At first, I was super excited about being able to cook my noodles in the stock the chicken and vegetables created without leaving the noodles in to get all soggy...But that is, sadly, where my excitement ended.

I lifted it out once the noodles were cooked to the point where we like them and plunked it in the sink to drain.  Fortunately, the sink has one small side because 90% of the time, I can't make this damned thing stand up like its supposed to.  Anyway, drain your noodles and rinse them with cold water until they are all cold, all the way through.  Then, let them drain a bit until they are dry-ish and store them in a container in the fridge.  Then, when you want some soup, add some noodles to a bowl, then pour the hot soup over the top of them.  This will ensure you get a good, steaming bowl of soup without soggy noodles.  This comes in handy as this recipe lasted us 2 days.  2-day old noodles that have sat in soup...No thanks.

Now, the REAL problem.  I scrubbed this thing FOUR TIMES.  Yes, FOUR ever-fucking times.

Guess what?

It still didn't come clean.  Those little wires just BEG for things to get stuck in them, as you can clearly see, especially the ring of them around the middle of the bottom of the basket.  The more you scrub, the more you realize the design makes little to no sense.  Maybe you'd have better luck with a dishwasher, but this thing is sort of flimsy and I just don't see that happening.  That, and MY dishwasher is plainly pictured below, holding the contraption up for the camera.

Eeew...Just eeew.

Verdict?  This thing sucks.  A glorified piece of shit, really.  It will most likely end up being re-purposed into some sort of craft project because I certainly will NOT ever be cooking with it again.  The fuss this thing caused...Nope.  Way easier to just cook the noodles in a separate pot and use a regular ol' colander.  Waste of money, waste of space.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel:

Homemade chicken and noodle soup.  It was awesome.  Made me feel much better.  At least I pouted maybe 5% less than before I was full of soup.  Sick and full of hot soup is better than sick and hungry, for sure.

Hope you try it out!

The recipe, not the Chef Basket.

The Wookie Wifey

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