One of the (many) advantages of being a Fine Cooking staffer is the chance to cook from the magazine long before it's really a magazine. Recipes for each issue are tested a minimum of three times, and sometimes more like four or five (once a recipe is deemed a success, it's even cross-tested by a another test kitchen staffer—a tasty way to double-check our results), and that process takes months. Occasionally I'll take home a copy of a not-yet-vetted recipe simply because I can't stand the wait. Okay, maybe we need to test our thinking that it needs another 1/4 teaspoon of some spice or 4 extra minutes in the oven, but it's good enough for me NOW.
That was the case with our April/May cover recipe: Chicken Noodle Soup with Lemongrass.
Having grown up on chicken noodle soup from a can, I was thrilled when I first discovered real chicken soup (thanks, Marion Cunningham): the rich stock, the tender pieces of chicken, the satisfaction. I was reminded of that eye-opening experience when I first tried Tony Rosenfeld's recipe, which combines lemongrass, ginger, Thai bird chiles, and lime with udon noodles, chicken, shiitake, and carrots. This fresh yet hearty, tart and spicy soup is a bowl of delicious. It's also easy and pretty quick, which is why it's on the menu for tonight.