Comfort food to the ultimate, creamy, cheesy, glorious max! These chicken and noodles ain’t yo mama’s! Rich, and OH so creamy-cheesy, loaded with veggies and topped with lots of yummy goodies, your family will declare you a kitchen rock star!
Okay, so who wants to just have some fun? I know I do!!!
So, today I’m sharing one of my favorite wintertime dishes with a little extra love! (I think we could all use a little more of that!)
I mean, seriously, who wouldn’t love a piping hot bowl, (or piled-high plate!), of kicked-up comfort food?!
I think we all need a little indulgence right now. And comfort food is just the medicine we need to help the healing begin!
And to me, the quintessential comfort food of all comfort foods is…..chicken and noodles!
This recipe is one that you’re sure to love and make often. Not only does it have all of the much needed proteins and vitamins, but it also has the richness and creaminess of a velvety smooth cheese sauce topped with everyone’s favorite….BACON!
Bacon. Because bacon makes everything better! Right?!!
So here are a few of my naughty favorites that makes life a whole lot easier and so much more fun!
You can, of course, spend countless HOURS making homemade noodles. Been there done that!
But if you’re super hungry and want something that, honestly, tastes just as good if not better, these noodles are my go-to’s! (They’re also what most Amish and Mennonite families, restaurants, and businesses use, too!)
*I used the giant bag, 48 ounces, but I already had this photo, so here’s what the bags look like.
And when all finished, this is what the basic chicken and noodle recipe looks like! STILL rich and OH so heavenly creamy!!
You can just enjoy them right like this….
…but today we’re kicking them up a notch or two!!
Which brings me to one of my other secret naughty indulgences….Cheez Whiz.
I know, I know. My bad. And SO not healthy. But it tastes just fine to me, melts like a dream, and right now I really could just use a good old-fashioned giggle-snort!
*Use a cheddar if you prefer, but remember to NOT use a high-quality cheddar or it can cause a lot of trouble! It doesn’t melt well and can separate into a greasy mess. Fair warning.
So, add a bunch of rounded spoonfuls of that “other magic gold stuff”, and melt it right in!
Ladle it into bowls and dive in just like this, or…
…go all the way and take it over the top!
I sprinkled the top with pinches of shredded Mexican-blend cheese….
….snipped green onions, and finished with crisp-cooked, peppered bacon crumbles!
Oh, and some fresh-cracked pepper, too!! You just can’t have too much black pepper!!
“Looks good enough to eat!”, as my Grandma used to say!
My hubby absolutely LOVED my Easy Cheesy Crack Chicken and Noodles, and was very sad to see the bottom of the pot when they were all gone!
So, you can easily make a half of a batch if you’re worried that this will make too much….but I wouldn’t recommend it! These noodles go fast!!
They’re one of our top favorites, and sure to be your next go-to family fave, too! Enjoy!! And stay safe! Keep that distance, and wear that mask! Masks save lives! Take care all!
Easy Cheesy Crack Chicken and Noodles
Makes a little less than a gallon (about 3 quarts or so), or approx. 8 – 10 servings
2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, 3 – 4 quarts water
4 dried bay leaves
1 (8 – 12 oz.) bag sweet baby carrots, sliced into fourths, as much as you want
1 large onion, chopped
1/2 of a medium bunch celery, rinsed and sliced, ribs and greenery
4 Tbl. butter
1/4 cup flour
1 (48 oz.) box chicken broth
1 Tbl. Better Than Bouillon Chicken base dissolved into 2 cups hot water
1 (48 oz.) bag Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles, frozen
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz. cream cheese, cut up
1/2 tsp. each: salt, regular black pepper, and garlic powder
8 Tbl. Cheez Whiz
shredded Mexican-blend cheese, 1/4 cup or more per serving
1/2 strip crisp-cooked peppered bacon per serving, chopped
2 green onions per serving, thinly sliced
very finely chopped fresh parsley, 1 – 2 tsp. per serving
fresh-cracked, or coarse ground, black pepper
Place chicken breasts into a 6-quart stock pot. Cover with cold water and then add more to fill the pot to about 2/3rds full. Bring to a boil, skim off the foamy stuff, then add your bay leaves. Turn down to a simmer, and LOW simmer for 1 hour. *When there is just 20 minutes left to go, add your carrots, onions, and celery. (*This is why you need the extra water.)
When 1 hour is up, carefully pour the chicken and veggies into a colander to drain, cover colander with a sheet of paper towel or a plate to keep warm. (*You can save aside 1 – 2 cups of the chicken/veggie stock if you want. You can use it to thin the final product later if it’s too thick for your preference, or use the next day to thin a little as it will thicken further after chilling.) A splash or two of water also works just fine, too, if needed.
To same, now empty, stock pot, add butter and melt over medium-low heat. Add flour and stir constantly until golden, but not browned, for about 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in chicken broth, adding a little at a time at first, keeping it smooth. Add your 2 cups of hot water with bouillon, and bring back to a boil over high heat. Add noodles, stir, and cook according to *package directions. (*Boil over medium heat, stirring every now and then, especially the bottom of the pot, for 20 minutes uncovered.) The broth will slowly thicken, so watch near the end so that it doesn’t stick and clump on the bottom of the pot! If towards the end it’s getting too thick, cover with a lid, but still stir every so often as needed to prevent sticking and scorching on the bottom.
When the noodles are done, pull the chicken breasts into large, bite-sized chunks adding to the pot as you go. When all of the chicken has been added, dump in the cooked veggies, too.
Gently stir in the cream cheese and Cheez Whiz in spoonfuls until melted. Add heavy cream, and salt, pepper and garlic powder. Heat through.
Ladle into bowls or rimmed serving plates, and top with garnishes of choice. Enjoy!!