Sunday, November 13, 2011

The best thing about cold weather... cold weather comfort food! Not that I don't love an entire meal cooked on the grill under the summer sun, but there is something to be said for your winter classics, in this case, chicken noodle soup and apple crisp. Now. I'm not normally a chicken noodle soup kind of gal. I don't know exactly why, it's just never really been my cup of tea. But then I saw this recipe in Good Housekeeping and it looked so good, I just had to try it. Bonus: the leftovers turned into chicken pot pie the next night - score!
This soup required me to purchase two things I've never bought before: fennel and bone-in chicken. Seriously, I've never bought chicken with the bones in it before. And I was skeptical about the fennel, because I don't like anise, but it sort of melted into the broth and you couldn't pick out the flavor. The other thing about this soup that I loved is that it simmers all day in the crockpot, which makes it so flavorful and tender. It has all kinds of yummy things in it that made it very complex-tasting, not bland. It was definitely reminiscent of......pot. Ha! Now you think I'm crazy. Or irresponsible. Or both. Let me explain. My extended family has this tradition - on Labor Day weekend we all get together at my aunt and uncle's cabin and they put chicken and veggies and herbs and spices into a cast-iron pot and cook it over an open fire all day. We call it simply Pot - not The Pot or A Pot or Our Pot, just Pot. And this soup made me think of it and all it's deliciousness (I think it's the dill). It was awesome and hearty and Hubs said it was the best chicken soup he's ever had. For what it's worth, Sweets did not agree ;) Anyway, instead of typing all 3 of these recipes out, I opted to link to them if you're interested in trying them out. 

So to make this delicious chicken soup, head on over to: Good Housekeeping's Chicken Soup

As if the soup wasn't fantastic enough, it's two-for-one recipe - LOVE. Cook it once, eat it twice. The pot pie assembled so quickly and easily that I threw it together in the time it took Hubs to give Sweetie Pea his bath. I made it the same night I made the soup, so the next night (a busy Monday), all I had to do when I got home from work was toss it in the oven, and voila! A hot meal. We found it a bit bland as it was, but a shake of garlic salt was all it needed to make it super tasty. 

And what's a great meal without a great dessert? My friend DMC raved about this Butterscotch Apple Crisp recipe from The Neelys. And she was right to. It is...OMG. I almost have no words (because my mouth is full of apple crisp). Amazing. And so easy! It calls for a garnish of butter pecan ice cream, but we didn't have any, so I used whipped cream instead. All 3 of us polished off our respective bowls and I *may* have gone back for seconds ;)

Please pardon these mediocre pictures. All my natural light is long gone by dinner time these days!

Do yourself a favor and make this apple crisp: The Neely's Butterscotch Apple Crisp

Happy Autumn!

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