Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back from the Dead

... and just in time to decorate for Halloween!

Well, turns out it wasn't H1N1. Thank goodness! Just some other no name bug. I am finally feeling normal again.

As promised, I've got to share my favorite soup recipes. Whether you're sick or not, these dishes really hit the spot!

Event: Sick Week

Mom's Chicken and Dumplings
Kale and Two Bean Soup with Tomato Cheese Toasts
Braised Beef with Root Veggies

Mom's Chicken and Dumplings (Serves two... all week...)
Note: There are many ways to make a dumpling... I grew up with flat, rectangular, slightly al dente dumplings, so this is generally what I make. Since I was truly under the weather, I cheated! Mark picked up all the ingredients... and a CAN OF GRANDS BISCUITS! Now, they weren't MY dumplings, and they certainly weren't my MOM'S dumplings... but they weren't half bad. If you're in a pinch or feel really lousy, go ahead and do it.

For the Broth:
8 cups water
6 cubes chicken boullion
3 bone-in split rib chicken breasts (skin and all)
4 carrots, peeled, halved, and cut into 3 inch pieces (or 2 cups baby carrots)
1 medium onion, chopped roughly
4 stalks celery, with leaves, ends removed, cut into 3 inch pieces
4 sprigs flat leaf (or curly if that's what you have) parsley
kosher salt
black pepper

For the Dumplings:
1 1/2+ cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper or chopped rosemary (optional)
2 tbsp margarine
2/3 cup milk (or there about)

Combine chicken and all broth ingredients in a dutch oven or large soup pot over HIGH heat. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium and cook 1 1/2-2 hours. Remove chicken breasts from soup and allow to cool 10-15 minutes. (Until cool enough to handle.) Remove all meat from breasts and return meat to pot. Discard bones and skin.

Combine dry dumpling ingredients. Cut margarine into flour using two knives or pastry cutter until small pebbles are formed. Add milk, 1/4 cup at a time, kneading with hands to combine. If dry, add more milk. If sticky, add a tbsp of flour until dough forms.

Flour counter surface (or cutting board) and rolling pin. Place dough on surface. Roll out as thin as possible (1/4 inch or less.) Cut dough into rectangles. Add dumplings to soup one by one. Cook 10 minutes more, or until dumplings are floating on top of broth.

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