Noodles, chicken, greens
This is the sort of dish to make whenever you have some good homemade stock to hand. The ‘chicken’ element is really the stock itself but if you have any scraps of meat left on your roast chicken carcass, they make a welcome addition.
For the stock, use your fingers and a small, sharp knife to strip the chicken carcass of any remaining good meat. Set this aside. Tear the carcass into fairly small pieces and cram them, along with any skin, bones, fat, jelly or bits from the roasting tin, and all the stock vegetables and herbs, if using, into a saucepan that will take them snugly. Pour in enough cold water to just cover everything – with a bit of luck you’ll need no more than 1.5 litres.
Bring to a bare simmer and cook, uncovered, for at least 3 hours, or up to 5 hours, topping up the water once or twice, if necessary. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a bowl and leave it to cool. The stock can be chilled or frozen, or you can cook your noodle dish straight way.
You’ll need about 750ml stock: bring it to a simmer. Meanwhile, remove the tough stems from the greens and roughly shred the leaves. Add the shredded leaves to the stock and bring back to a simmer, then add the noodles and garlic. Cook for 3–4 minutes, stirring a few times, or until the noodles are just tender. If you have any reserved chicken, add this a couple of minutes before the end of the cooking time.
Taste and season well with salt and pepper, then ladle into warm bowls. Finish, if you like, with a dash of soy sauce and a squeeze of lime juice.
Try cooking a handful of rice in the broth, instead of the noodles. Or pearled barley or spelt. These will all take longer, of course – 20–25 minutes simmering in the stock, so add the greens about 5 minutes before they will be cooked.
If you don’t have any chicken meat but you would like to add a little protein to the dish, cook a simple egg ‘pancake’ – just pour a couple of beaten eggs into a hot pan and cook for a few minutes until set, then roll it up and cut into slices. Add these egg ribbons to the stock just before the end of the noodle cooking time.
- 1 small head of spring greens (about 200g), or use cabbage or kale
- 2 nests of fine egg noodles, broken
- 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
- A dash of soy sauce (optional)
- A squeeze of lime juice (optional)
For the chicken stock
- 1 roast chicken carcass
- 1–2 onions, roughly chopped
- 1–2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- A few black peppercorns
- 3–4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- ½ large leek, roughly chopped
- 1 sprig of thyme (optional)
- A few parsley stalks (optional)
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