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February, 2010

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Homemade roast chicken soup & crispy cheese straws

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

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Question: Do you believe that spices can save you from the debilitating Alzheimer’s disease? I happen to concur the notion that it does!!!!

Old blog (www.giddygastronome.blogspot.com)

Granted, soup is a pretty easy dish to make. C’mon nobody can mess it up and at the end of a very cold day, everyone will  love you for  making it.

I am a voracious advocate for this  “feel good” food and the cozy ambiance it creates. As you well know, soup is an ubiquitous fare in cold climates and it is  this welcoming  simplicity, that makes for it’s broad appeal! For me, a steaming bowl of soup and a chalet in the mountains, are the perfect pair for an idyllic love affair!

Here I have prepared a roast chicken noodle soup with an Asian twist ( a full-blown party in a pot)  and a crunchy kick-a..  cracker on the side. Let me warn you though, make plenty for all your ski buddies because table-side brawls and senseless  butchery could very well be the climax of an enjoyable day of skiing……  all for some maddeningly good crispy cheesy straws! These rugged  guys, I tell ya! They love it when I cook though!

Crispy & flaky, cheese straws ( golden , gooeey & garnished with carrot & daikon “knots” )


My addition of green chillies, seeds removed, and chopped cilantro in the dough makes for a very good flavor and very flaky to boot. The acoustic elements, while munching on these savory snacks, were like music to the ear!


Roast chicken noodle soup with a magical broth and a distinct  Asian twist, was a welcome reprieve for  everyone’s frozen extremities!


Thanks Jo for the beautiful colorful plate!

Made with Sambal Oelek,  edamame, daikon, carrots and spices for flavor


I consider myself extremely lucky living here in Colorado. Colorado with it’s wide open spaces and majestic Rocky Mountains will make you say ” wow!” every time you see it.


……then in a flash, the weather changes and you will freeze your a…..   off!


…the sun is trying it’s utmost to peek through this ominous cloud


I am this crazy about skiing! This is where you will find me most week-ends, braving the I70 en route to Breckenridge, Vail or Beaver Creek….depending  on where this snow storm blows me!


I prepared everything the night before , so that when we came from skiing, I  baked  the straws,  roasted  the chicken in the same oven and finally  warmed the soup.

My entourage of  winter Olympic hopefuls are numerous in number so this here mama has  to be prepared for their ravenous  hunger!

Recipes (Please use organic ingredients when possible)

For the flaky cheese straws

  • 1/4 c 100% stone ground-whole grain corn flour (Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/4 c cornstarch Bob’s of course!
  • 1 3/4 c A/p flour
  • 2 green chillies finely minced, seeds and veins removed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro, stems included
  • 2 t peri-peri spice ( I used South African)
  • 1 t granulated garlic powder
  • 2 big pinches of Kosher salt
  • 6 oz cold, unsalted butter cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 to 5 T of cold  H2O ( depending on aridity, Colorado is extremely dry).  I used 5T but if you live at sea level, add 2 first and pulse.
  • 5 oz freshly  grated Gouda cheese, plus 2 oz grated sharp cheddar
  • 6 oz freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1 egg yolk, whisked,  for brushing


Sift all the dry ingredients and the salt in a food processor and add the spices, cilantro and chillies, and pulse twice. Scatter the butter into the flour & pulse once again. Whisk the egg yolk into the water and then add to the processor. Pulse again 7  short times ( emphasis on short). Knead gently into a smooth ball on the table being careful not to overwork the dough. Place in refrigerator for an hour.

Roll out the dough into a rectangle ( about 10 x20 inches). Brush one half ( measure 10 inches across) with egg yolk and sprinkle with the mixture of Gouda & Cheddar. Now brush the other half and fold this half over the cheesy half. Brush the top with egg  and sprinkle the Parmesan on top. Using a pastry wheel cut the straws 1/2 inch x 3 inches long like in the picture below. Refrigerate for 15 mins. and then bake 400 degrees for 15 mins. until golden and gooeey!


For the roast chicken noodle soup: (organic ingredients please!)

  • 12 chicken drumsticks, skinless, rinsed and dried. Bake about 8
  • some panko
  • lemon pepper
  • sweet pickle masala or sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 t pounded  fresh garlic
  • 1 t  toasted cumin
  • 1/2 t  turmeric
  • 1-2  t Sambal Oelek
  • 1 bunch of carrots, cleaned and cut, I used a cookie cutter or cut into small lengths
  • 3 daikon radish, do the same here
  • 5 cups homemade chicken stock/ or 2  cartons  organic, low sodium plus 3 cups of water
  • 2 oz of egg noodles ( has to be added at the end)
  • half pound edamame (frozen)
  • 2 T chopped cilantro


While you are baking the cheese straws, you can bake 8 of the drumsticks in the same oven for 35 mins. Sprinkle the drumsticks with lemon pepper (I make the lemon part fresh and then dry it) and sweet pickle masala or Hungarian paprika if you do not have sweet pickle, drizzle with very little  extra virgin and bake in the oven. The last 10 mins of baking time, sprinkle some panko on the chicken and place back in the oven to crisp up.


Saute the onion in that same container you baked the drumsticks in, you will pick up all the fond(flavor), crazy good, until transparent, 5 mins. Add a tiny bit of extra Virgin olive oil if too dry. Add the garlic and Sambal Oelek,  saute for another 5 mins. Now transfer all these  to a soup pot (Dutch oven) & add the remaining 4 drumsticks and add kosher salt to taste and braise for 15 mins  Add all the carrots and the daikon and saute in the chicken juices until fairly tender about 20 mins. Now add the cumin & turmeric and saute for 5 mins until spices are cooked. Add the edamame and  all the chicken stock and cook for 15  mins and check your seasoning. Add the cilantro and cook for another 5 mins. Last but not least add the egg noodles and cook for another 5 mins.

Dish the soup in the bowls and make sure that you put a few roasted drumsticks in the bowl as well. I always use the pepper mill when I serve the soup and Oh, do not forget the cheese straws!

Much love from my kitchen,


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