Recipe Box – Homemade Chicken ‘n Dumpling Soup
One of my favorite things as a kid were trips to down to North Dakota. How exciting was it that you could leave the country, just like that? My five-year-old brain was convinced that people weren’t allowed to leave their countries for some reason. Yeah, I was *that* kid.
Down in Langdon or Walhalla, we would do a bit of grocery shopping. I always came home with two soups we couldn’t get here, and I know I’ve gone on and on about before – Chicken ‘n Dumplings, and Chicken and Stars. Also, because of road work or something in Langdon in mid-summer the year I was six, I’ll always associate the smell of hot tar/asphalt with orange sherbet. Always. When they tarred the roof of the apartment building where I lived in ’92, that’s all I wanted to eat. LOL
Okay, so back to the soup. I’ve meddled and fussed with recipes for dumplings for years trying to get just the right one, because it’s gotten very difficult for most folks to ‘cross the line’ for the day, not to mention our dollar sucks most of the time. Finally I think I hit on one that’s very close and even though the broth is my own version and not Campbell’s flavored…this was one of the best chicken soup dinners we’ve had in ages. How’d this come about? Well, I’d been watching a lot of ‘homesteading’ videos on Youtube over the winter, and between Mrs. Volfie from Our Half Acre Homestead (her noodle recipe), and John from Jnull0 (his dumpling recipe), this is what I came up with.
To use a term from Jnull0 – I’m no expert, so don’t tell me this is right or wrong or I’m screwing it up. I’m not a souptologist, I’m just a gal that makes a lot of soup. (I LOVE John, he’s awesome!)
Homemade Chicken ‘n Dumpling Soup
1 chicken carcass*
1 lg onion
2 sticks celery, halved across
3 med. carrots, halved across
1 clove garlic
4 whole star anise seeds
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/4 tsp whole cloves (about 4-6)
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
water to cover + 2″
* If you wish to make a meatier broth with fresh chicken parts rather than a leftover carcass, bake them first, and remove the skin.
Put your leftover chicken carcass (or other parts) in your crock pot (or heavy bottomed stock pot), cover with remaining ingredients. If your crock pot isn’t big enough for the extra 2″ of water, don’t worry about it – your stock will just be a bit stronger, and you’ll have to keep your eye on any liquid loss, and replace it.
Turn it on to high for 2 hours, then low for 6-8 hours. I prefer to start the stock on low around midnight (I am a nightowl), and leave it at that until 4 the next afternoon. I will sometimes let it go for nearly 24 hours, depending on when I started it.
If you are using a stock pot, bring it to a boil, then turn to low for 4-6 hours.
Always, always, always check for liquid loss. You can replace with either water or pre-packaged chicken stock.
Once your chosen simmering time is up, remove all the solid ingredients, strip the meat from the bones, and pour the stock into a large pot. Return the meat to the stock, and add fresh ingredients (optional):
2 whole star anise seed
3 whole cloves
1 tbsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp dried summer savory
2 cups diced potato
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced carrot
When the vegetables are nearly ready, make your dumplings. depending on your preference and amount of stock you’ve created, you can double this.
1 cup flour
1 large egg, beaten
buttermilk to bring to sticky dough consistency
Measure 1 cup of flour into a bowl, and create a well in the center. Add a pinch of salt, and pour the beaten egg into the well, then mix. Add buttermilk a tablespoon or two at a time, until the dough is a sticky consistency.
Let sit for a minute while bringing the soup to a boil.
Using two spoons, drop selected amounts of dough into the soup (we use about a half teaspoon size amount) until the dough is gone, bring back to boil if it has gone off, then lower heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Check a dumpling and see if it has cooked through (a consistent color all the way through, and fluffy – not heavy and dark in the center). If needed, give it another 15-20 minutes.
Serve with fresh bread or buns – hope you enjoy!