Friday, January 28, 2011

Crock Pot Wednesdays

I've started cooking in the crock pot on Wednesdays. One of my favorite meals is chicken noodle soup with toasted rosemary olive oil bread. An oldie, but a goody.

Chicken Noodle Soup:

1 full chicken breast*
5 cups water
2 T chicken bouillon granules
46 oz chicken broth
2 big handfuls of chopped carrots (frozen)
1 big handful of chopped celery (I sometimes leave this out)
1 t salt
Wide egg noodles

Preheat oven to 425. Line a baking dish with tin foil (for easy clean up). Bake chicken for 30 minutes. When finished, shred with 2 forks.

In crock pot, mix together all ingredients except noodles. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Stir in noodles about 10 minutes before serving. (I usually add the noodles just before I cut and toast the bread). I generally like soup with lots of noodles. Some like less, so add as many as you want.

*We don't eat a lot of meat in our house, and when we do we buy the humanely raised, organically fed stuff. Because it can be expensive (depending on when and where you buy it) I sometimes halve the meat in recipes. This soup works well with half a breast. I've even made it with no chicken pieces at all.

Rosemary Olive Oil Bread:

1 T yeast
1 T sugar
1 cup warm water
2 T softened butter
1 t salt
2 1/2 cups flour, divided
2 T fresh chopped rosemary, divided
2 T olive oil

Mix the yeast, sugar and water in a large bowl. (It should bubble a little. If it doesn't your yeast may no longer be active.)

Mix in butter, salt and 2 cups of flour.

Add 1 T of rosemary and knead for about 10 minutes. Add flour as necessary.

Oil a bowl and place dough inside. Cover dough with a towel and let rise until doubled (1-2 hours).

Punch dough and split it in half. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Round and place on an oiled baking sheet.

Lightly press the remaining T of Rosemary into the top of the bread. Let the loaves rise again until doubled (45 minutes).

Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375. When finished, brush with olive oil.

Baking bread is a time consuming processes. I like to make this bread and keep a loaf in the freezer for later. I also cheat. Wards carries a really good rosemary olive oil bread that I like to butter and toast in the broiler. ;)


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