Khao Soi – Northern Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

This might have been our favorite discovery in Thailand.  I had read about this soup, that was mostly found in Chiang Mai, before we even left the U.S. and I knew I had to try it.  I’m a sucker for regionally specific foods and I love me some noodles.  When we got to Chiang Mai a local friend we made at the hotel told us of a place around the corner where we had to go to get Khao Soi...funnily enough it was also in my guide book and the place that I had earmarked.  So my choice being corroborated by a local, we headed to Huen Phen for dinner, our bellies growling with excitement.

Unfortunately we missed the memo...Khao Soi is a lunch time dish only, so we were out of luck for dinner.  We ate there anyway and had a fabulous meal, but my mind was nervously churning.  We only had one day left in Chiang Mai and we were in a cooking class from 9am until 1:30pm and Huen Phen was only open for lunch until 3 everyday.  So our only chance was to force our already over-filled bellies coming from our cooking class to stretch a little bit more so we could try the famed Khao Soi from the best in the area.  Were we up for the challenge?  You bet!  And we’re we ever so glad that we didn’t give up our quest for Khao Soi...it is now one of our absolute favorite Thai foods and I think it will be yours too!
Red Wine & Rosemary Marinated Chicken
This is a nice and easy weeknight meal if you prepare in advance and marinate the chicken overnight.  I found this super yummy marinade that makes the chicken flavorful and tender on eatingwell.com .  Great for that half bottle of wine that you left in the fridge for too long without drinking (does that happen? yes, when I don’t love the bottle I opened...but definitely good enough for cooking). We served the chicken with wild rice and roasted brussel sprouts (coated with olive oil, salt, pepper & garlic powder).  Simple, healthy and delicious.
Thai Chicken Noodle Soup
Oh, I’m down for the count...sick with a cold and not moving from the couch.  So, my sweetheart of a husband cooked up one of our favorite soups, a nice Thai twist on Mom’s homemade chicken noodle soup...just what the doctor ordered!  The recipe below makes about 4 servings...but we always double it since it’s so yummy.  Quick & easy for weeknights too...and only one pot, so quick clean up.
Christian’s Posole Soup

We’ve been making Posole since our days in San Diego back in 2002-2005. For those not familiar with it Posole is a traditional Mexican stew that can be different family by family...different meats, broths and veggies based on what they have available (either in their area or as leftovers in the fridge). Two staples of this dish though, are hominy (hulled corn with the bran & germ removed...when ground it becomes grits) and cabbage for garnish.
Chicken & Dumplings

This is a DIY day recipe!  So feel free to be creative and create your own recipe, go on-line and find a new recipe or make something else entirely.  That’s the beauty & flexibility of DIY Days in the Menu.

However, if your curious here is my general approach for this dinner when I make it...I grew up eating this so it has evolved from my mother’s recipe over the years:
Balsamic Chicken, Polenta & Rapini

I stumbled upon this Balsamic chicken recipe (Giada’s) when making a spread for my best friend’s bachelorette party, but it was so yummy that I have a hard time keeping it to chicken drummett appetizers as it calls for and instead have started making it as a regular chicken dinner with either full-size drumsticks or chicken breasts.

When it comes to the polenta, Giada’s cheesy polenta is the absolute best, but if you’re trying to be healthy I would suggest you simply make it according to the directions on your polenta package and add a touch of cream/cheese/butter to taste along with some fresh herbs. Lastly, Rapini (or broccoli raab) is our favorite vegetable lately...we usually roast it at high heat with grape tomatoes and olive oil, garlic powder, salt & pepper for about 15 minutes...nutty, a bit crunchy and so delicious!    
Julia Child’s Coq au Vin

What can I say...it’s Julia Child’s Coq au Vin!  Cognac flaming, wine bubbling, careful and precise sautéing of onions and mushrooms....all resulting in an amazingly delicious Sunday dinner (I know the menu said Friday, but we got a little busy and had to switch things up). To be fair, it’s a bit of a labor intensive dish, but most of Julia’s classic dishes are and the payoff is well worth it.  Flavorful and succulent chicken, melt in your mouth onions and mushrooms, and a sauce that you’ll be tempted to lick off your plate!