There’s a certain responsibility tied into the preparation of a chicken-noodle soup: it must deliver undistracted pleasure; it must be entirely slurpable. I made the “Six-Ingredient Chicken Noodle Soup,” from the September 2010 issue of Everyday Food, because I was jazzed by the “quick & easy” concept. I imagine the purists of chicken soups might be very offended by the “shortcuts” in this recipe. For instance, Cook’s Illustrated might have something to say about this (see another good soup that I made last year).

This six-ingredient soup recipe is written to make 4 servings, but it actually makes an abundance of soup -- more like 8 to 10 servings! Keep this in mind; you’ll have lots of good leftovers. Also note that this recipe asks you to use twice as many chicken thighs as you need for this soup (the idea is to save half the cooked thighs for another meal, another day). I didn’t bother to indulge in this here -- I used only 1.75 lbs. of thighs. Also, I used boneless and skinless breasts, without any big sacrifice of flavor. I boiled all my chicken segments in vegetable-bouillon broth (so easy!), then enjoyed shredding the cooled, cooked chicken with my fingers. My big pot of soup needed 3 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. black pepper. And yes, we all slurped it.

I also enjoyed  the “Fresh Corn Spoon Bread,” from the same September 2010 issue of Everyday Food. Rather than having a bread consistency, mine was more like a pudding, or a soufflé, even. It was pleasantly eggy and sweet with corn.

I didn’t bother adding the jalapeño, in the interest of my young child’s palate. I added 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. black pepper to my cooked onion. As soon as I whisked in my cornmeal, the mixture thickened like polenta. I baked my spoon bread for 35 minutes, and watched it puff up like a soufflé. This is a dish that will deliver only comfort and smiles.

PRICES
Bone-In, Skin-On Chicken Thighs (1.75 lbs.) = $3.80
Carrots (4) = .87¢

RECIPES: chicken noodle soup and spoon bread need not be complicated to please your dining masses
PREP TIMES:
enjoy chicken soup after an hour of prep and cooking; spoon bread needs a bit more time and a bit more attention
TASTES: chicken + carrots + spaghetti + peas = fun for all ages; sweet corn is potentially decadent when combined with butter, milk, and eggs

Another day, another chicken: next time, I want to cook the “Tandoori Chicken,” from eclecticrecipes.com, along with the “Buttermilk Farro Salad,” from101cookbooks.com. See what happens when you return to my site on Tuesday, September 21.