Ohio’s Own: Use Your (Chicken) Noodle
Forget pumpkin spice, is it chicken and noodles season yet?
How about now?
The weather is cooling down, and nothing says comfort food quite like a big vat of noodles and chicken. While plenty of local joints serve up that speciality (Nancy’s in Clintonville comes to mind), the most comforting way to experience comfort food is inside a comfortable home.
So, for comfort purists, there are a handful of home-based grocery options that don’t involve the labor-intensive ritual of rolling and cutting noodle dough. Gillie’s Noodles, from East New Lexington Ohio, makes noodles and freezes them in plastic bags. When boiled, the package contents make thick, starchy noodles and a thick, starchy broth that provides the base for a perfectly classic version of chicken and noodles. You need to add your own chicken and seasoning (that’s not rocket science: poultry and chicken broth), but the texture is perfect and homey.
If the thought of the extra labor and judgment involved in adding chicken to cooked noodles is too daunting, there’s another option: Bessie’s Homestyle Noodles. It’s sold in little individual, cube-shaped containers of Chicken n’ Noodles. The cubes are also found in the frozen goods section at the grocer.
Bessie’s operates out of Miamisburg, Ohio. The plastic freezer container bears a label that says “microwaveable”, so there’s no dishes involved in this project. Pop open the lid, and you’ll find a substantial sprinkling of shredded white meat at the top of the container of noodles. It’s all stirable after being warmed, so you can distribute the meat throughout. The finished product is brothy-er and less starchy than the Gillie’s version. That’s good or bad, depending on whether you wanted your chicken and noodles soupy or sturdy. Both versions have fan clubs.
Soup fans can find the Gillie’s version at Weiland’s, and Bessie’s was found at The Hills.