Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Chicken and Dumplings

Winter's here - I've had flu... Yuck! This evening - after having made it in to work (unlike some of my work-mates!)... and back home again - I decided to make a variation of what is fondly known in my NY-based African-American family as "Jewish Penicillin". Chicken soup, to you guys... We had some left-over roast chicken from the weekend, so....

I removed the chicken from the bones and added it to a pound-and-a-half or so of, skinned and jointed chicken wings, which had been boiled for about 30 minutes with some seasonings and vegetables (a couple of chopped onions, a bay leaf, 5 cloves of garlic, a leek, 3 carrots, 3 ribs of celery, a stock cube, some herbs (we're talking thyme, oregano, parsley, rosemary and sage - just a big pinch of each) and some salt and pepper. I tasted the seasonings and added a couple of tablespoons of butter to the 'soup'.

Then I consulted my Fanny Farmer cookbook for a dumpling recipe since I'd never tried making dumplings before. Fanny says:

Feather dumplings
1 cup self-rising flour (OR 1 c. flour with 2 tsp baking powder)
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (I used a bit of a stale loaf of French bread, grated)
3/4 tsp salt
1 egg, well beaten
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup milk
1 tbsp finely minced parsley
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Combine the flour, bread crumbs, (and baking powder, if using) and salt in a mixing bowl, and stir to mix. In another bowl lightly beat the egg, melted butter, onion and milk together. Stir into the dry ingredients to make a stiff batter. Stir in the parsley and pepper. When the chicken has had its 30 minute simmer, drop spoonfuls of dough on top of the bubbling broth. Cover and steam for 20 minutes without lifting the cover.

Depending on the size of your spoon (!) serve 1 -3 dumplings per person.

This was a surprisingly tasty and satisfying meal. Since both Steve and I were suffering with the tail end of flu, it was just the thing - leisurely to cook and easy to eat.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy New Year!

We celebrated the New Year with my long-time friend Joyce. It seems that Joyce had such a good time with us last year that she wanted a 'repeat perfomance' to see 2006 out! This suited us down to the ground because, having had experience trying to share New Year's Eve with several guests, we realise our limitations - we are much better with just one or two people...

Our menu was simple but festive and included escargot in garlic butter (with all the accoutrements!), pan-roasted breast of goose with roast vegetables and roast sweet potato, and home-made lemon sorbet (made by Joyce) for dessert. We enjoyed champagne from Rheims with the escargot and Côte de Rhone with our main course. All in all we three dined royally and had a splendid time together.

May 2007 bring lots of joy, friendship and fellowship to you and your loved ones!