Soup…or maybe not.

As luck would have it the next recipe in the project is also a soup recipe.  The recipe is called Whole-Meal Chicken Noodle Soup, Chinese Style and is from the cookbook The Minimalist Cooks Dinner by Mark Bittman.  Mark Bittman is also author to another cookbook I have, How to Cook Everything, and each are cookbooks I have had dating back to University days.

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I've had this cook book so long I no longer have the jacket for it...
I’ve had this cookbook so long I no longer have the jacket for it…
[/span4][span8] The Minimalist cooks dinner is another cookbook which aims at providing quick easy healthy recipes. All things that sound good to me! On this particular night I was home alone, well except for Cheetoh, so I decided to half the recipe from 4 servings down to 2 and that way have lunch for the next day.
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Here's that broth simmering
Here’s that broth simmering
[/span4][span8] To start off with I simmered chicken broth with slices and ginger and a clove of garlic. In the side bar of the cookbook Mark offers “minimal effort” ideas to add to the recipe. One of those was to add a dried chile to the broth and since I happen to have dried chiles from my garden last year I decided to add the chile.
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As of right now this meal still seems like it will be promising...
As of right now this meal still seems like it will be promising…
[/span4][span8] Mark suggest to let the broth simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Since I like really flavorful food I actually let my broth simmer for an hour and a half.

Next I cooked chicken and garlic in oil for 5 minutes until the chicken began to brown. Then broccoli was added to the skillet and was cooked for another 5 minutes.
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Come on noodle logs, separate!!
Come on noodle logs, separate!!
[/span4][span8] I then strained the ginger, garlic and chile from the broth and added the broth to the skillet with the broccoli and chicken. I let that start to boil and then added fresh wonton noodles, which I had sliced into ribbons. According to the recipe the noodles are to cook for 3 minutes until they begin to separate. Well mine didn’t separate in 3 minutes. They stayed stuck together in noodle logs. So I let it cook longer and used my wooden spoon to try to separate the noodle logs. It became apparent that the noodles were not going to separate.
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Still edible right?
[/span4][span8] I decided to just continue on and finish up the recipe after about 15 minutes of the noodles refusing to cooperate, and also to note the broth was quickly reducing. I added soy sauce and sesame oil and then stirred in some green onions.
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I served myself a generous portion and began to eat.  The noodle logs were pretty chewy.  The chicken and broccoli were ok-ish, but what made the dish pretty hard to consume was the salt.  This was one salty dish!  I love salt and even this was too much for me to take.  So sadly after a few bites I threw away the rest and was glad I had only made 2 servings!


The Verdict:  I will not completely blame the recipe on this dish not turning out.  I think if my noodles had cooperated it could have still worked out…I am still unsure of why they didn’t.  I think having the broth reduce down so much was a big error on my part because the little bit of soy sauce I added at the end really overtook the dish.