Yeah, it has been forever, and trust me, I'm chastising myself enough for the whole class because of it. I could sit here and make a billion excuses, but what it boils down to is I could have made time to blog. Should have, as well, since it is something I love and find relaxing and I need all of that I can get, especially when life gets chaotic.
I hear it now. Enough of your excuse and your shit, SHOW US THE FOOD!! :)
Start off with getting a bunch of water boiling. If you're using a raw chicken, you can plunk it in there with enough water to make it float and boil it up as is, then de-bone it and save the liquid. However...
...I used this. I recently discovered it is actually CHEAPER here to get a baby rotisserie chicken than it is to get a baby raw chicken. This is awesome, because not only does it still have a carcass to make stock out of, but it also has great flavor, so I bought one and plopped it in the fridge overnight until I was ready to start cooking.
If you're using a pre-cooked chicken, strip all the meat off, set it aside, and toss the carcass and skin into the pot of boiling water to make your stock. Now, this part is very important. You see that goop in the bottom of the chicken holder thing? You want that goop. That's good goop. Do not throw it away. Add it to the stock pot.
Once it looks like the above, let it boil for about 2-3 hours. Add water as you need to in order to keep the level up. You'll need quite a bit of stock.
After that time, you should have a nice, murky, liquid. That's your chicken stock. Strain the bones out, then put the stock back in the pan and you should have this:
Homemade chicken stock? CHECK! (Blogger does NOT want to un-center this one part for some reason. Sorry.)
Next, before you dump the chicken meat back into the pot, take out a large mug of stock so it can cool off. If I forget to do this part early, I do like 1/2 stock and 1/2 cold water from the fridge to get it more room-temperature-ish.
Mince up some garlic and toss that in. I used 5 medium-sized cloves.
...4 stalks of celery go into the drink as well, keep it all boiling, adding water as you need to.
DUMPLING TIME! Mix one cup of flour with some salt and pepper and a generous pinch of parsley. Add one egg and mix it all up. I find a fork really is the best option for this part.
If you have a crumbly-looking mess like above, you've done it right.
Next, take that cooled-off stock in the mug and add it, a little bit at a time, and stir until the dough all comes together. You don't want a super wet, sticky dough, you want to mix it until it just forms a ball.
I didn't take this one out just because I think it is pretty. No apologies. This next part there are no pictures for as my hands were covered in dough and you have to work fast, but here's how it goes:
Grab a teaspoon and dunk it in the boiling pot of stock until it gets hot. Not long enough that it conducts the heat and burns your hand off, or anything, you just want the spoony-part hot. This will help the dough not stick. Once it is hot, working quickly, grab small pieces of dough with the spoon and dunk them into the stock. Since the spoon is hot, they should release with minimal mess - just a bit of swishing. Keep the spoon hot and repeat until you run out of dough. Keep re-mixing the dough and doing the spoon thing until you get the desired amount of dumplings. I find that for a whole baby chicken that 6 cups is perfect...but we like A TON of dumplings.
For some odd reason, this seems to work a thousand times better for me if I mix the dumplings one cup at a time. If I do a huge batch all at once, they turn out with sort of an odd texture because I can't work fast enough.
This is what you are left with.
Your kitchen will probably look like this, but you won't care because you will have this:
And that makes you the winner.
One picture with flash and one without since I cook late due to the odd-ass schedule the Wookie and I keep, and it is getting dark early!
I'd say this is one of our very favorite winter foods. What are some of yours?
As usual, would love feedback if you try this! I have a second recipe for dumplings I'll post in the future...The more time-consuming but oh-so-delicious old-fashioned, roll-out ones, but this is my "lazy" dumplings recipe. :)