Chicken soup for starters


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The biggest eaters we know come from Kansas City. They can lay waste to platters of fried chicken and cottage-fried potatoes, barbecue and baked beans, or just about anything you put before them. It's tradition.

For example, look at the classic Kansas City fried chicken dinner: chicken by the platter, bowls full of mashed potatoes, green beans, gravy, sweet cinnamon rolls (yes, sweet rolls) and ice cream with chocolate sauce for dessert. This is a big meal! But wait, we left something out: the appetizer. Hot chicken noodle soup. A big bowl of it, loaded with thick, handmade noodles.

Many years ago when we first went to Stroud's for chicken dinners with Kansas City friends, we thought they were joking when they said we ought to precede our fried chicken orgy with hot chicken soup.

But that soup was good. We have skipped it when we have returned to Stroud's, however, because we wanted to leave room for the mountains of four-star chicken and chunky mashed potatoes. Now, thanks to Fred and Linda Griffith's book, "The Best of the Midwest," we can have our soup and eat our chicken, too. The chicken we will eat at Stroud's. The soup we can enjoy at home. The Griffiths, who searched the Midwest for the best recipes, included Stroud's chicken noodle soup in their book; and it is easy to make at home (much easier than the fried chicken, the recipe for which the Griffiths also include).

You can serve this soup as an appetizer, but we recommend it before a fairly light meal.

Chicken noodle soup

Makes 4 servings.

6 chicken thighs

3 carrots, diced

1/4 cup fresh parsley

4 cups canned chicken broth

4 cups water

2 eggs

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

salt and pepper, to taste

-- Worcestershire sauce

Simmer thighs, carrots and parsley in chicken stock and water 45 to 60 minutes, or until chicken meat is very tender. Remove chicken parts from stock, pull meat from bones, and return meat to pot. Remove pot from heat.

Beat eggs and salt until smooth. Beat in 2/3 cup flour, then continue adding flour, up to a total of 1 1/2 cups, until a pliable dough is formed. Knead dough 5 minutes on a lightly floured board. Roll about 1/16th of an inch thick and use a sharp knife to ZTC cut it into 1/2 -inch-wide noodles, 2 inches long. Roll and cut scraps.

Return soup to stove and bring to simmer. Add noodles, salt and pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Simmer 7-10 minutes or until noodles are cooked through and tender.

Stroud's, 1015 E. 85th St., Kansas City, Mo. 64131; (816) 333-2132.

Universal Press Syndicate

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