Last month after our big chicken meal (in which we cooked a whole chicken and actually ate very little of it) the chicken was broken down into its respective parts and has since made its way into several more meals. (Following that original chicken dinner the bony parts spent the night in the slow-cooker with carrots, onions, and celery. The next morning I dealt with the pot by straining the broth out, and then picking out the good bits of meat and carrots and tossing the rest in the compost. The carrots were fried up with a bit of butter and made a wonderful addition to lunch that day. The broth and small amount of meat went into two freezer bags, one of which emerged from its hibernation to become our dinner!).
This chicken-noodle soup dinner was accompanied by totally awesome Whole Wheat Buttermilk Cheese Biscuits from 100 Days of Real Food, and a very fresh salad made with local greenhouse lettuce and (of course) local beets. All in all it was the kind of meal that made me remember my childhood, full of simple flavors, hearty textures, and savoury goodness.
Chicken Noodle Soup
I’m not going to post a recipe because basically I just winged it (no chicken pun intended)…. I thawed the broth, tossed in several chopped carrots, a stalk of chopped celery, and when it was simmering added a ½ pound of local egg noodles. The soup was entirely local except the stalk of celery. The soup turned out the way it was supposed to, although it probably had more noodles than it needed.
Whole Wheat Buttermilk Cheese Biscuits
These were super easy to make and I used 100 Days of Real Food’s recipe but added a “rest” to the dough of 1 hour to help the whole wheat soften and to bring out some of the natural sweetness of the flour. I also did ¾ of the recipe so I’ve included my quantities in this ever-so-slightly modified version:
- 1 ½ cup whole wheat flour (I used Oak Manor’s Hard Sifted Whole Wheat)
- 3 tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup butter, chilled
- A generous ½ cup grated cheese (I used white cheddar from Pine River)
- ¾ cup buttermilk
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt and mix together in a bowl. Grate the butter, that’s right, grate it! I grab a full stick (as in ¼ lb) and grate it like cheese until I’m halfway through, that’s ¼ cup, and it’s okay to use a little less, I don’t think I used the full ½ stick. Stir the grated butter into the flour mixture until it’s decently incorporated.
Mix in the grated cheese and finally add the buttermilk. Knead the mixture for long enough to mix all the ingredients together and then stop. The original recipe said to knead 8-10 times but I probably did a bit more and they turned out great! Allow the dough to sit for as long as you have (somewhere from 1-4 hours).
After the rest, roll out the dough to a thickness of about ¾ inch and cut the biscuits. Use fun cookie cutters if you have them – have your child or dog help you cut them out! Grease a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. If you have leftovers (which is unlikely if you have 3+ people, reheat them briefly in a [toaster] oven and they will still be great.
- 1 head of lettuce (or more or less depending on your needs)
- ½ cup candied nuts (I used walnuts… from California L )
- 3 medium sized beets, sliced into wedges
- 1 oz. crumbled goat cheese
- Maple vinaigrette dressing (2 Tb. oil, 1 Tb. cider vinegar, 1 Tb. yogurt, 1 Tb. maple syrup, salt and pepper)
Cook the beets for a long time in water, like seriously, a really long time, at least 30 minutes, and 40 minutes is a good idea. Cook them until the water looks like a rich red wine and the beets and soft. Then briefly fry them in butter if you like that sort of flavour… Toss everything together in as pretty of a fashion as you can (salad should be pretty, I do my best).