Nigel Slater's midweek dinner: chicken broth, noodles and greens

The recipe

Lightly brown four large chicken drumsticks in a deep pan with a little vegetable or groundnut oil. Add 150g or so of oyster mushrooms and let them brown a little, then add two roughly chopped, large spring onions. Pour in a litre of chicken stock and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down so the mixture simmers. Leave for 25 minutes, then lift out the chicken pieces and remove the flesh from the bones with a knife. Add 125g of thin, dried egg noodles to the broth and cook for two minutes, then add a couple of handfuls of greens, such as chard, roughly chopped. Continue cooking for a minute or two, then add the chicken you have removed from the bones, and leave to heat through for a couple of minutes before checking the seasoning and adding a splash of sesame oil and serving.

The trick

Use drumsticks or thighs rather than chicken breasts. Bones from free-range birds are generally thicker and will give a better flavour to the broth. Don't be tempted to simmer the broth for much longer than 40 minutes – nothing good will come of it. Use rice noodles if you prefer. If you use thick noodles, then cook them first, before adding to the broth.

The twist

Use chestnut mushrooms instead of the more expensive oyster variety. Swap rabbit in for chicken, but use a whole carcass, chopped up. Use spinach or bok choi instead of chard.

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