Saturday, November 27, 2010

Turkey and Noodles

Welcome to the holiday season! I love this time of the year... the beautiful snow, the extra excuses to get together with family and friends, and the excessive amounts of food! This season is also bursting with traditions for many of us (which may or may not be a blessing, depending who you are and how you feel about such things, haha). One of the biggest traditions around Thanksgiving for a lot of Americans is what has come to be known as "Black Friday." Millions of people go crazy, getting up ridiculously early to get to their favorite stores in the hopes of getting a killer deal. But not us (and especially not me... I worked too many holiday seasons in the retail industry to ever want to set foot inside a store on Black Friday again). No... while most of America is busy fighting each other for the best deal on socks and flat-screen TVs, my mother and I are usually busy in the kitchen with our own Black Friday fun.

And I present...
...turkey and noodles.

The day after Thanksgiving, everyone is in the same boat... bloated and sick of turkey, with way too much turkey leftover to justify not eating turkey again for the rest of the weekend. But fear not, for there is a better solution than dry turkey sandwiches.

The meal I present to you is my all-time favorite. If I were on my deathbed and faced with choosing my last supper, I would choose turkey with homemade egg noodles without even having to think about it. It is the ultimate comfort food. Warm and filling, with chewy noodles and salty broth, and big chunks of turkey that'll make you beg for a slice of pumpkin pie to follow.

In this recipe, it's all about the egg noodles, baby. Sure, you could settle and make turkey soup with store-bought egg noodles, but don't cheat yourself. Take the time to make your own with love and affection, and trust me, the noodles will love you back.

Start with the eggs. The amount of noodles you want will determine the number of eggs to use. We wanted enough to last all weekend, so we used 5 eggs this time. Whisk the eggs, add a generous pinch or two of salt, then add flour half a cup at a time. There's really no measuring with this step... you just have to feel the dough.

Just keep kneading the flour into the eggs, half a cup at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and forms a nice ball.

Now it's time to roll.

Make sure your surface is good and floured before beginning this or the dough will stick mercilessly to it. Continue to add flour to the dough as needed... we want it good and dry. Roll the dough until it is very, very thin.

Oh, and don't be ashamed if you wind up wearing some flour... happens to the best of us, haha. :)

And now we roll some more! Only this time, we're rolling the dough up. Flour the surface of the dough one more time, to keep it from sticking to itself as you roll.

Once the dough is rolled all the way up, cut it into thin ribbons. This is what is to become our noodles.

Next, separate the noodles. Spread them out over your counter and let them dry until they feel a little crunchy (technical, I know).

Meanwhile, prep the rest of your ingredients. Chop up some onion, celery, and garlic... the amount will depend, again, on how much you are making. We used about 3 stalks of celery, 1/4 of an onion, and 2 cloves of garlic for the amount we were making. Shred some of the leftover turkey, as much as you'd like... we used about 2 cups. Saute the onion, celery, and garlic in a little olive oil and add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Next, add some chicken broth... we used approximately 1 small can and 1 32 ounce carton. Season with a pinch of herbes de provence, sage, or whatever suits you at the time. Add the turkey, and allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes. Mom also likes to add some of the leftover turkey gravy... we added about half a cup this time. This, of course, is completely optional, although it does add tremendous flavor to the broth.

Add the noodles to the broth in small chunks, separating them with a pasta fork once in the water. It's important not to add them all at once or they will stick together and you'll wind up with a big blob of what should have been your noodles. However, don't go too slowly... these noodles cook very quickly and if you're too slow the first batch of noodles will be done before you get the last bit into the broth. Once all of the noodles are in, stir tenderly to separate but be careful not to break the noodles, and feel free to add more broth if the soup is too thick. The noodles will soak up a lot of (in fact, most of) the broth, so if you want any broth left by the time you eat it don't be afraid to add more! Allow everything to simmer for a few minutes, season to taste, then turn off the stove. There's no real specific time to cook the noodles... tasting is the only way to tell if they're done. A done egg noodle will still have a little bit of bite, without being doughy. Feel free to serve right away, or let it sit for a while to let the noodles soak up all of that yummy broth. It will inevitably thicken (and become even more delicious!) as it sits. This is definitely one of those meals that gets better after a day or two in the fridge. All the more reason to make a lot, haha!

Margo Oliver once said, "There comes a time when you must count the blessings and ignore the calories." This is definitely one of those occasions. And as I sit here, with my warm, fulfilling bowl of turkey and noodles and the snow falling heavily outside my window, the blessings feel so immense and the calories so insignificant. :)


  1. So carb heaven.....add on top of mashed buttery potatoes!

  2. I actually ate it on top of some leftover stuffing today lol.

  3. I love making home made noodles! My mom used to make chicken noodle soup with them. I always liked to cut the noodles so I could make fat ones that were more like dumplings than noodles :)

    You've motivated me to make them for dinner ASAP!


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