Friday, June 03, 2005

Homemade Chicken Dumpling Soup

Ladies and Gentlemen:

This is a very simple and common recipe, but I do call it my ancient family secret recipe. Please go forth and make this healthy, hearty, heart-warming soup. I know it goes to my Grandmother and I’m sure it goes back further than that, but I don’t know for sure.

I’m vague with the ingredients, as it’s sort of based on your likes and dislikes, what’s in your fridge or market, and how many people you want to make this for. In order to make a more flavorful soup, I first ‘amplify’ the broth/stock/bouillon. Read below to understand. Basically, a regular can of broth or a cube of bouillon can be tasty, but also a bit fake. I take an extra step to make it better. Since I’m not about to make homemade stock.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

1 large head of celery
1 large bag of baby carrots
2 large onions
chicken, either in pieces or boneless skinless (for a healthy/easier version)
Salt and Pepper
Bay Leave
“Mrs. Dash”
Chicken Broth or Bouillon

3 Eggs
Flour (a few cups are needed)

Divide the vegetables in half. The first half should be roughly chopped. Clean the celery and chop into pieces about three/four inches long. Remove the root end, but use the leaves. The onion, same thing, cut off the root end, leave the skin on and roughly chop, large chunks. With baby carrots, just cut in half. If you have some parsley, throw it in.

Throw all this in a pot and the bay leaf and either 1) cover with about 8 cups of water and add a few bouillon cubes and bring to a simmer or 2) cover with canned chicken broth. (About 4-5 cans). I prefer step one and I prefer the “Knox” brand chicken bouillon cubes. They are really cheap and are in a small yellow box near the canned broths. When the kettle is simmering, add the chicken. Keep this pot at a simmer until….this depends. If you are using chicken parts with bones and skin, leave them in their for a long while. This will allow the full body and flavor to come out while the chicken is cooking. As long as an hour. Pour the entire pot into a strainer, reserving the broth. If you are using boneless skinless, just simmer for about 12 minutes and the vegetables are tender. Again, drain and reserve the broth.

Return the broth and bring to a medium simmer, light boil. Cut the remaining vegetables into uniform bite-size pieces, add to the broth. Cut or shred the chicken. Add to the broth. Keep simmering.

In a bowl, whisk the three eggs with a pinch of salt and a few grinds/shakes of black pepper. Also add a tablespoon of Mrs. Dash. Slowly add in the flour, eventually you’ll get a heavy, doughy, sticky blob. Begin pinching pieces off about the size from the tip of your thumb to the first joint of the your thumb…average. Drop into the simmering broth. Repeat until the pot is full and the dough is gone. The ‘dumplings’ will sink to the bottom and as they cook rise to the top. Once they are all floating on the surface, basically you’re done. I like to keep them going for awhile longer. Salt and pepper to taste. The bouillon is very salty, so use caution and taste first.

At this point, eat or, cool the soup and refrigerate. This is one of those----so much better the next day---soups. Bring to a simmer on the stove or heat in the microwave. Try not to boil, a vigorous boil can break apart the dumplings.

This recipe is very vague as I don’t write it down, I just do it. Let me know, via the comments, if you have any questions or suggestions. You can add extra vegetables if you like. I’d add them after the ‘broth’ is made. Green beans, corn, broccoli are all vegetables I’ve seen…but wouldn’t put in my soup for all the world….this would violate my grandmothers memory…but please do what you want!!!! And let me know it turns out.



The Kara said...

I LOVED the soup! Not a cook myself, but it was easy and delish. Made it for my dad and he loved it - chicken was very tender, not too spicy. Used 3 cubes of Knox bouillon. Only crazy part was the dumplings themselves - super sticky! Tried throwing them in with my hands and they stuck to them so my mom came up with the brilliant solution of spooning them in which seemed to work. Thanks so much, Scott!!!

Dancer in DC said...

He made me this soup for me today, partly because I've been recovering from a cold. And as always, it's amazing. This is the soup that I look forward to all year-long, as it's so very comforting.

Jack said...

No dumpling or chicken vegetable soup.
OK, couldn't find the right Bouillon cubes so went for a box o broth by O organics. I used two large raw chicken breasts with skin on and started by browning them with a handful of the onions, then added the broth and carrots and celery. After an hour or so, took the breasts out, removed the meat and shredded it and put it back in. Instead of removing the veggies, I left them in and tasted the broth, added a handful of chopped jalapenos, the rest of the carrots and celery and about a cup of chopped bell peppers left from another recipe I was making, more onion and green onions. Since the box of broth only had 4 cups of liquid, I added another cup of water and let everything cook for another 30 mins or so. So good, I didn't do the dumplings.