Chicken Dumpling Soup

Oct 21

Written by:
10/21/2013 9:09 AM  RssIcon

Chicken with Dumplings Soup

This ‘recipe’ is actually more of a process rather than specific recipe; it makes a hearty chunky chicken soup. The overall process can be as simple or complicated as one’s desire to make it. Quantities are ratios rather than specific amounts and are varied to one’s tastes.

Start by using approximately equal parts of the following:
=Oven roasted* or rotisserie chicken cut into large bite sized chunks
=Yellow onion, chopped
=Carrots, chopped
=Celery, chopped
=Potato dumplings** or gnocchi from the store
To the above ingredients add:
-Chicken stock, homemade*** or canned 
-Salt, fresh cracked pepper and Herbs de Provence to taste
-Flat leaf parsley
Optional: baby spinach or asparagus, or any other option that suits your taste buds
Also optional: garlic or any other flavoring spices that you may like; I like to make my own chicken stock and add more flavor during that process.

Try to chop the veggies to about the same size so they will cook the same. I like mine a bit chunkier than some folks. I like to do the 1/4 turn chop on the carrots; there’s probably some fancy French name for this.

Add the veggies (onions, carrots and celery) into an appropriately sized pot to meet your needs. Add enough chicken stock to completely cover the veggies with enough extra to accommodate the chicken and dumplings; vary the stock amount to make the soup consistency to your liking. Lightly season the soup at this point. Bring the veggies to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Now taste and check the seasoning than adjust as needed. 

While continuing to simmer the soup, add the dumplings. Simmer the soup with the dumplings for about 5 minutes or until the dumpling are done; the dumplings will tend to rise to the surface when done. Now add the chicken and simmer to warm through. Remove from the heat and stir in the rough chopped parsley. If adding spinach, add it to the hot soup now as well. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

*Oven roasted chicken:
Start with a good quality organic or farm raised chicken, bone in and skin on. For chicken soup I prefer breast meat; so go with what you like. Make a nice bed of thinly sliced onions in a shallow roaster. Add chopped garlic, Herbs de Provence, salt and pepper. Sprinkle lightly with a tablespoon or so of extra virgin olive oil. Toss everything in the pan to coat the onions. Pat dry the chicken parts before seasoning with salt, pepper and Herbs de Provence. Lay the chicken, skin side up, over the bed of onions. Sprinkle seasoning and a bit of olive oil over the chicken. Roast in a 400 degree oven until juices run clear; usually about an hour depending on quantity and size of chicken parts. This is great roast chicken on its own, just throw in some potato wedges and roast with the chicken; also works great for chicken salad.

**Potato dumplings:
The dumplings can be made in advance and frozen until needed. I use a basic potato gnocchi recipe to make my dumplings; there are many variations on the web, so find what works for you. I typically start by baking 3 medium sized russet potatoes. After the potatoes have cooled enough to handle I put them though a ricer; mashed potatoes will work also. Beat a room temperature large egg and add to the potatoes; make sure potatoes are cooled so as not to cook the eggs. Mix in about 3/4 cup or so of all purpose flour. Dough may be just a bit sticky but go ahead and gather it up, and wrap in plastic wrap. Put dough in fridge for at least an hour. To form the dumpling place the dough on a well floured board and carefully roll to about 3/16 inch thickness; I usually roll and flour while I turn over the dough a time or three to make sure it doesn't stick to the board. Cut the dough with a knife or pastry cutter to about 1 1/2 inch pieces. Now the dumplings are ready to cook or place in a single layer on plastic wrap to freeze; after they are frozen the dumplings may be bagged and kept frozen until needed.

***Chicken stock:
Here is where you make good use of the carcass from either the rotisserie or oven roasted chicken; so be sure to reserve all of the bones, skin and drippings. When using my oven roasted chicken above I will add the cooked onions and other goodies from the roast pan, along with the chicken bones and skin, to the stock pot. Add rough chopped celery and carrots in with the carcass and cover with water. If using rotisserie chicken, add chopped onion to the stock pot. If I have other veggies, such as stalk ends of asparagus and parsley stalks, I’ll add those to the stock pot as well. The seasonings from the carcass will serve to season the stock fairly well so just add a bay leave at this point. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook for 2 hours. Remove the stock from the heat and allow it to cool a bit. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and discard the solids. Skim the fat from surface of the stock, or chill stock so the fat solidifies and is easily lifted from the top.

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