If you try to google “nouilles” without “lebanese” you will not find any recipe near to the one our mums cook. I don’t know why it’s called nouilles it’s not even an arabic word, but you can call it in other words, creamy chicken tagliatelle.
Very simple and easy recipe, but it takes time and care. When you savour it, you will know why it’s one of the favorite dishes for the majority of the lebanese.
The nouilles as we know it: (yields 6-8 servings)
- 500g tagliatelle
- 200g ham cut in pieces (optional)
- 100g parmesan or mozzarella
- 1 kg chicken (boneless thighs or breast) cut in pieces
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 cup sliced mushroom
- 1 small onion chopped finely
- 1/2 cup white wine
- salt to taste
For the cream sauce:
- 4 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 6 tbsp flour
- 100g butter
- salt to taste
- dash of nutmeg (optional)
Cook the tagliatelle as per pack instructions for al dente, it will continue cooking in the oven. Drain and keep aside.
Heat the butter and cook the onion and mushrooms until fragrant (3-4 minutes) then add the chicken and keep cooking until almost done. Add the wine (for a deeper flavor) and cook until half the liquid is evaporated.
To make the sauce, heat the butter until melted but not colored. Add the flour and cook for few minutes until light golden brown. Add the milk and cream one cup at a time and whisk continuously until smooth. Bring to boil then cook for 30 seconds before removing from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg (optional). If you are cheese lover, you can add a handful grated parmesan to the bechamel to give it rich flavor.
Stir in the chicken and ham (I mentioned that the ham is optional for the people who doesn’t like the taste) and pour over the tagliatelle and mix until all components are well incorporated.
Put the mix in a baking dish and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake (on 180°C) for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
Enjoy the pleasure on a plate, indulge in rich flavors and sahtein a la libanaise!