Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Chicken and Dumpling Soup

As much as I'm just like my mom in my style of cooking, I'm a lot more "scrappy" in the kitchen. Chalk it up to my inexperience or my general tendency to be kind of messy, but either way, my posts won't compare to her beautiful photography, perfectly uniformly chopped ingredients and spotless kitchen. You'll easily be able to tell which posts are mine, but regardless of the mediocre presentation and the tornado left behind in the kitchen, the food will taste great! So hang on to your hats because here's my first post:


Chicken and Dumpling Soup

I love trying new recipes and improvising to make it to my liking. Chicken and Dumpling Soup is a Southern dish that I had for the first time on my last trip to my husband's hometown in Jacksonville, FL over the Christmas holiday. My only memory of this soup is from its references on One Tree Hill (do you know what I'm talking about?), but my mom swears that she made it often, and I really should remember. Further conversation revealed that she made it a lot while she was nursing me as a baby, so can she really blame me for my lack of recollection?

All photography courtesy of my dear husband, Mitchell. (It's difficult to cook and take pictures!)

On to the ingredients:
1-2 lbs. chicken (boneless, skinless breasts and thighs)
salt and pepper to taste
approx. 1 cup flour
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 stalks celery with leaves, chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup apple cider
1 dash of half-and-half
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, thyme and rosemary
cayenne pepper, salt, fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 pinch tumeric (optional)
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped for garnish

Dumplings:
1 cup flour
1 egg
1 tablespoon half-and-half, as needed

Heat half of the oil in a large dutch oven or other large enameled pot. Mitchell bought me this Le Creuset for Christmas this past year. He said he saw it as an "investment" in delicious meals for him. Smart man. Glad I married him.

Lightly salt and pepper both sides of the chicken. Coat with flour, which will add a nice crust. Place each piece in hot oiled pan and brown each side, about 5-8 minutes per side.


Once browned, remove from pot and set aside. The browned bits left in the pot add flavor, so don't scrape them out!


Heat other half of oil and add in garlic and aromatic vegetables (onion, celery and carrots). Saute in pot until onions are translucent.


I enlisted Mitchell's help here. He added the chicken broth and apple cider, seen here. Add the chicken back into the pot, bring to a boil and turn down to simmer.



While the soup is simmering, let's make the dumplings! On a clean board or counter, make a bowl out of the cup of flour, and crack the egg into the hole. Knead the flour and egg mixture until it starts to form a dough. Add a dash of half-and-half, as needed, if the dough is too dry to knead. Once combined and dough-like, roll it out until it's about 1/8" in thickness.


Cut it into strips and then into bite-sized pieces.


They don't need to be uniform! Perfect dumplings are not a priority!


Next, pull out each piece of chicken and use two forks to shred it. Once each piece is shredded, return them to the pot. Add half-and-half (if desired), cayenne, salt and pepper, oregano, rosemary and thyme to taste. A pinch of tumeric gives the soup a rich-looking color.


Drop in the dumplings, one by one, being careful not to put them on top of each other. We don't want them to stick together! Let them sink to the bottom to cook. Stir gently and cook them for 8-10 minutes.


Add the chopped parsley and serve! This is a hearty soup that makes 5-6 entree-sized portions. We served this with a side salad.

8 comments:

  1. Oh, I want to try this one, too! And I would definitely not call this a 'mediocre' presentation! You have a great teacher! Good job!

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  2. This looks delicious! I LOVE chicken and dumplings and you make it look easy! :) Thanks for sharing!

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  3. UB is gonna be a happy man if I can pull this one off:) wish me luck!

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  4. Yummy!!! Good on a winter day (or any other day).

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  5. Replies
    1. Half-and-half is an equal portion of milk and cream. In this recipe, if you don't have half-and-half, milk or cream will do.

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