Keep it simple

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For a recent tailgate opportunity the weather forecast worsened all week. On game day the actual weather had temperatures in the low 40s and occasional rain.  Early on, as we planned our menu, we thought that or chicken noodle soup would be a warm treat for our guests.  Later, we had to decide on how we were going to make, transport, and heat the soup at the game. We wound up with a Rube Goldberg-like collection of a propane crock pot, a thermo-electric (plug-in) cooler/heater and a grill. We really had to juggle all these gadgets, in the light rain, just to fit them into our car and later to fit them onto a table so we could get ready to serve our guests.

My Web site has a 1954 photo of a tailgate picnic at Colgate University.  The folks in that picture had a picnic basket and a thermos bottle. They had no need for a crock pot or thermoelectric cooler/heater even if these were invented back then. Maybe we would have been better served, considering the weather, if we had prepared like those folks in that 58-year-old photo.  Sometimes we “progress” so much that we create more work for ourselves.

Here’s a great chicken noodle soup recipe for your cold weather tailgate party.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

8 cups chicken stock

2 skinless chicken thighs w/ bones in and 1 skinless chicken breast half w/ bones in

2 cups sliced carrots

2 cups sliced celery

1 cup chopped onion

6 ounces uncooked egg noodles or collegiate logo pasta from pastashoppe.com

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Combine the chicken and stock in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer the ingredients for 20 minutes. Remove the chicken from pan and let it cool for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from bones and then cut into bite-sized pieces. Discard bones.

2. Add the carrots, celery, and onions to the pan.  Cover the mixture (without chicken) and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add noodles/pasta, and let it simmer for 6 minutes. Add chicken, salt, and black pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until noodles are done.

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