I know it’s been a while since my last post but this wintry weather sent me into hibernation. Not to mention, I’ve been eating a diet consisting of ginger bread, sugar, and chocolate chip cookies. Ok, just kidding about the last part….not really. On a day like this in Northern Virginia, when the wind is blowing, there is snow on the ground, and the temperature drops below 20 degrees, I want nothing more than a big hot bowl of soup. However, I would gladly swap with someone who lives in say Tahiti where the breeze is blowing, there is sand on the ground and the temperature drops to a cool 60 degrees. Any takers? Well, I’ll be waiting for your call, but in the meantime how ‘bout some chicken and dumpling soup? It’s hearty like chicken noodle, and is almost like the filling of a chicken pot pie. Perfect for weather like this, because baby, it really is cold outside.
Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Cook Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Ingredients (Hey, it’s me, Commentary. I’m back! Did you miss me?)
1 Half Chicken – Cut into 4 or 6 pieces, whatever is easiest
4 Cups of Chicken Stock – You can use broth if you do not have stock
4 Cups of Water
2-3 Carrots – I used about 15 baby carrots, if you don’t have regular sized carrots
1 Large Yellow Onion – Diced, doesn’t have to be minced
4 Garlic Cloves – Minced
2 Bay Leaves – I used three dry leaves, ran out of fresh leaves
1 Leek – trim down, and chop
4 Ribs of Celery – Coarsely chopped, again doesn’t have to be minced
1 Can of Pre-Made Buttermilk Biscuits – secret weapon
2 Tablespoons of Cornstarch – if needed to thicken soup
Salt and Pepper – to taste
1 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
3 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
3 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme – if you do not have fresh thyme, 3 tablespoons of dried thyme is fine
In a medium size stew pot (think size of a dutch oven), melt butter over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, leeks, celery, onions, thyme and bay leaves, toss, and cook until onions are translucent and vegetable are softened. About 5 Minutes. Add the chicken, seasoning with garlic powder, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Add Chicken stock, and water. Stir, and let cook on medium heat for about 30-40 minutes. Remove the chicken and let cool on a large cutting board. Turn the heat on the pot down to a low simmer, while the chicken is cooling. Once cool, remove bones and skin. Shred the chicken by hand or with a fork, and add it back to the simmering pot. Add salt and pepper to taste, remove bay leaves and thyme and bring soup to a boil on medium heat. If the soup is too thin, stir in cornstarch. NOTE: Before adding cornstarch mix with water. This way the starch will not clump in the soup. Mix about ¼ cup water for every 2 tablespoon of cornstarch. While the soup is thickening, prepare the dumplings.
A trick I learned from my mother is to use a can of pre-made buttermilk biscuits. Quick and super easy. Just pop open the can and cut each biscuit into quarters. Drop them into the soup, let cook for another 10 minutes or so (you’ll notice that the dumplings will rise and expand to the top of the soup) and it’s ready to serve. Enjoy!