I’ve heard talk about some locally made, mind-blowing noodles called “Coe’s Noodles” for sometime now. So, I thought I would get to the bottom of the mystery and email the force behind the food–Judy Coe herself. And, Judy promptly responded with a call, because that’s the way she operates: old-school style.
“Can I tell you a story?” were the first words she said to me, and she sounded so sweet when she asked, that I simply couldn’t say no.
Judy told me that she took her noodles to the Indiana State Fairgrounds last weekend, when a 70-something-year-old woman came up to try her chicken noodle dish. “I looked up,” said Judy, “and the woman had tears in her eyes!”
“She looked at me and said, ‘these are my mother’s noodles.’”
“So I gave her a hug and said ‘we never forget our mothers do we?’”
That story, I believe sums up Judy’s personality, and her cooking, quite nicely.
Judy says Coe’s Noodles always were and always will be “Grandma’s Noodles.”
That seemed funny to me, because as hard as I try, I can not for the life of me remember my mom OR grandma ever sitting down to cook me noodles. Where I come from Noodles fall out of a box, usually accompanied by a delicious fake cheese product on the side.
That, Judy says, is the problem. She wants to teach and inspire younger generations how to cook. It’s very simple she says, her noodles involve just three ingredients: flour, eggs and salt.
“Do you know what broth is?” she asked me.
“Yes,” I tentatively replied.
“Well good. Then that puts you ahead of most people your age. Can you believe that? Some people in this day-and-age don’t even know what broth is!”
Judy is an Indiana Artisan who began Coe’s Noodles 27 years ago out of her very own kitchen. She was the head chef, and enlisted her husband, three daughters and one son to help with the rest of production. Today, her empire has expanded, but not by much. Judy still keeps Coe’s Noodles close to home, by employing just three full time staff members (one who has been there for 19 years!). The key to her famous noodles she says is their texture. It’s something you really just can’t get out of a box.
You can, however, get all the texture and homemade goodness of Judy’s Noodles out of a bag, purchased off of the Coe’s Homemade Noodles website. I suggest you pick one up and test out this recipe she shared with me!
Judy Coe’s Chicken and Noodles (be warned, this is the stuff that brought a woman to tears):
1.) Place 4 to 5 lb. chicken leg quarters or any chicken pieces in a large stockpot and fill with hot water until the chicken is covered with the water. Cover with lid and cook until chicken is tender. Remove the meat from the liquid, which is now called broth. Take the meat from the bones and return it to the broth.
2.) Stir 1 can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken soup, and 1T. salt into the hot broth.
3.) Bring the broth to boiling and add the noodles, stirring only once.
4.) When the broth and noodles return to a full boil, turn the fire down to a very low temperature for about half an hour, and then turn completely off. Don’t continue to stir. The longer the noodles sit in the hot broth the better they are – they just keep absorbing that delicious broth.
I find Coe’s Noodles best enjoyed over an episode of Modern Family. Because honestly, tell me you can think of a better fall night than that?