I think I’ve cracked it, guys.  I just may have tweaked my chicken noodle broth so much that I’ve brought it very close to comfort food perfection.

Chicken noodle broth is something myself and Niall often put together for an early-in-the-week dinner, when we’re in need of culinary-shaped hugs.  Over the years, we’ve made some pretty good batches of it.  But there have been some bland ones too.  The method I used last night, however, was definitely the best effort so far.

I was inspired by this recipe and used the Home Organics’ asian-style dressing as a marinade for the chicken, which added a truckload of luscious flavour to the broth.

Gosh, I feel like I’m boasting.  I don’t mean to gloat.  For a novice cook, it’s such a treat when an improvised recipe turns out well!

What you need for a comforting chicken noodle broth for 2 to 3 

For the chicken marinade

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 tablespoon of soy sauce

1 level teaspoon of grated ginger

Juice of half a lime

2 free-range chicken breasts

For the broth base

1 litre of organic chicken stock

3 tablespoons of fish sauce

2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large chilli, finely sliced

100g of your preferred noodles

4 or 5 stalks from a pak choi head, washed and chopped into bite-size strips

A small bunch of coriander, finely chopped

2 limes   

Start by marinading your chicken.  Mix the sesame oil, olive oil, soy sauce, grated ginger and lime juice in a bowl.  Pierce the chicken breast all over with a sharp knife to create little pockets for the marinade to get into.  Now add your chicken breasts whole to the bowl and cover.  Leave in the fridge for about an hour.

If you’re veggie, this could possible work really well with tofu as a chicken substitute.  Certainly worth a try!

After an hour, heat a frying pan over a medium to high heat.  You don’t need to add oil because the oil from the marinade will cook the chicken for you.  Take the chicken out and slice into chunks or strips, however you prefer.  Add the chicken chunks to the dry pan and scoop out any remaining marinade in the bowl into the pan.  The chicken will take about 8 to 10 minutes to cook.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, heat 1 litre of chicken stock.  Add the fish sauce and carrot slices.  After 6 minutes, add the chilli and noodles.  Noodles should usually take around 4 to 6 minutes but check the packet instructions.

When your chicken is cooked through, take off the heat.

Once your noodles have cooked, you can add your chicken plus its cooking juices into the large pot.  Add the pak choi and cook everything for a further minute.  Squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot and add the chopped coriander.

Serve with a wedge of lime on the side so you can adjust your own bowl’s limey-ness.  Dig in with a spoon and chopsticks.

TUNE

A real comfort tune here, it’s one I put on when I’m in need of a music-shaped hug.

Landslide – Stevie Nicks (via Hype Machine)