You know what I love about twists on classic recipes? There’s no standard by which to judge it, so unless the chicken is raw or some other MAJOR flaw, I’ll probably be pretty psyched about the result 👍
(PS, if you’ve got yourself a little head cold, this version of chicken noodle will REALLY clear up your sinuses 😉)
2-3* chicken breasts, cooked & shredded (or shred a store-bought rotisserie to save time)
4 carrots, peeled/chopped (or sub baby carrots to save a little time – just cut each one in half)
3 stalks celery, diced
½-1 onion, depending on the size of the onion, chopped
2 tbsps red curry paste**
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ginger
Salt & pepper to taste
2 boxes chicken broth (8 cups), plus 2 cups of water
1 tbsp, maybe two, of lime juice (OR lemon!)
2-3 packages of spicy ramen, including spice packets and dried veggie packets (or any other Asian noodle that cooks quickly – But remember to then add your own kick or a lot more curry paste!) ((Also, if you use 3 chicken breasts and 3 packages of spicy ramen, you’re gonna have to add a couple cups of water 😉))
Salt & pepper your chicken, cook it in some olive oil in a frying pan, and shred it (or shred a store-bought rotisserie.)
Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and cook your carrots/celery/onions in there, until they start to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, red curry paste, salt and pepper, and cook for a couple more minutes.
Add the shredded chicken, chicken broth, water and lime juice, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Add the ramen/spice packets/dried veggie packs, and cook until the noodles are tender.
*This quantity of noodles, veggies and broth/water could certainly use 3 shredded chicken breasts, versus 2. But in my ongoing effort to cut down on our meat consumption AND save a few bucks on my monthly grocery bill, I often cut down the quantity of meat I include, ESPECIALLY in soups and stews, and especially when it’s shredded chicken. If it’s shredded, you can still get meat in every bite, but you’ll save a few bucks (especially when you buy expensive organic meats like we do) by cutting down your meat portions a bit.
(You can also make this recipe vegetarian by omitting the chicken and adding additional veggies, mushrooms, bean sprouts, etc.)
**Suze’s spicy scale: To me, this is very spicy when you include both the red curry paste AND the spice packets included in the ramen. People who eat a lot of spicy food will think “Yeah, it’s got a little kick…” (Ahem, T-man, I’m looking at you!) As for people who never eat spicy food, this level of spice just might kill you.
Servings: 5-6 BIG helpings. I make a lot of this so Mike can bring leftovers for lunch, but you can certainly modify my quantities to make less. You can also add/omit ingredients, of course!
Time involved: If you make everything from scratch, start to finish, this takes about 35-40 minutes, give or take (including the 15-20 minutes of inactive simmering time.) But if you buy already-cooked chicken (and shred it), baby carrots (and just cut ‘em in half), and don’t saute the veggies first, you could easily be eating 25-30 minutes after you turn on your burner.
The BS: (“BS” meaning “back story” if you give a shit, or “bullshit” if you think food blogger back stories are a buncha bullshit 😂)
(Originally published about a year ago, we don’t live in Colorado anymore – Back in Dirty Jerz 😳😂)
A few years ago, my cousin James and six of his buds from home road-tripped it across the country. Colorado was the last stop before heading back east, and they were primarily here to visit the 8th guy of their posse, who’d recently moved to Boulder. Of course # 8 had too many roommates living in too small a rental, so James and all his friends stayed with me & Mike up in the mountains.
It was as full as this house has even been – we even had two dogs roaming. Sally was still kicking and we were dogsitting Coal, our friends’ black lab.
All of our guests were cool and respectful, including Coalie. They went out and bought a bunch of food, cooked all their own stuff all weekend, and cleaned up the mess afterwards.
One classic moment was waking up after their first night at my house, guys scattered all over the house on the floor, on our couch, in the recliner, and one zany (short) friend cuddled up on Coal’s bed. James’ lil’ Asian buddy cracked me up all weekend – “The air is so clean up here,” he commented, standing on my deck, smoking a cigarette.
He also inadvertently helped inspire a new dish on our Dinner Faves list.
They bought so much food, I couldn’t believe it, but 8 hungry guys? Just about everything was gone by the time they left.
Except a few packages of spicy ramen…
These packages just sat in my cabinet for months. It’s been a long time since quick ramen/mac&cheese/etc. has been a regular rotation in my dinner plan.
Then one day I was flipping through an old Rachael Ray Everyday magazine, and came across a “Spicy Asian Chicken Noodle Soup” recipe.
“That sounds good…”
And my brain suddenly remembered the spicy ramen packages.
As usual, I read the user comments, and most of what they’d suggested was stuff I was also thinking when I read the recipe. Add carrots and celery, of course! When I think of chicken noodle soup, I think of chicken, noodles, carrots, celery and onions.
I also was all about the suggestion of adding some ginger. Maybe some lime juice, too. And obviously, I intended to use the spicy ramen, rather than the noodles Rachael recommended.
Also, I’m pretty sure I made it in a pot, not a medium saucepan, since I was adding so much extra stuff… And there’s no way I boiled my chicken. How I made this recipe is much different than Rachael’s way. She inspired me, and I took it from there…
And with store-bought rotisserie chicken, this can be a super easy/hater-friendly meal. Also, I prefer to saute my veggies first, but you could just as easily throw them in the pot with the chicken and the rest of the ingredients and let them simmer till they’re tender. Then throw in the ramen for the last few minutes and you’re done!
This chicken noodle twist immediately became a rotation regular. Any meal that is GOOD, as well as GOOD when reheated in the microwave is a winner in this house.
My husband, Mike, is a teacher, and four days a week he does not have a long enough lunch break to leave school and go buy a lunch. (He barely has a long enough break to go to the teachers’ lounge, heat up his lunch in the microwave, eat it, and hustle back to class before the bell rings!) There is no toaster oven, never mind oven, in the teachers’ lounge. Any meal he brings either needs to be eaten cold, or heated up in a microwave.
Needless to say, we were both thrilled with this twist on the classic recipe. And if you like classic chicken noodle soup when you’re sick, this spicy version will really clear up your sinuses!