Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Comfort Food

Bowl of comfort

I'm sure I'm not the only one that thinks a bowl of homemade chicken soup as the ultimate comfort food, especially when you're not feeling well. I've been trying to fight off this flu/cold/whatever the past week and finally gave in and decided to stay home for a day to just rest. As great as staying in bed until noon is for resting, it does not do much to keep my stomach from rumbling. In a rare moment of foresight, I made chicken dumpling soup over the weekend in an attempt to cook up stuff that have been sitting in the freezer/refrigerator longer than they should be. One of the things that I always have around is bags of bones I saved from roast (chicken/turkey/goose). With 3 bags on bones taking space in the freezer, I decided to make some soup for dinner. (I have about 4 quarts of stock in the freezer as well.) I used the pressure cooker to make the stock to cut down on time. I actually use the slow cooker quite a bit for stock as well, but pressure cooker works better when there's less time. Chris makes fun of me whenever I make soup because I go overboard and put too much things in there that it's more like a stew. I restraint myself this time and it turned out perfectly.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

about 2lb of bones leftover from roasted chicken
2 small carrots, washed and cut in half
2 stalks of celery, washed and cut in half
1 small onion, washed and cut in half
about 20 black peppercorns
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic, mashed slightly
8 cups of water

Put everything in a pressure cooker. Bring it up to pressure and let it go for 1 hour. After it cools down and de-pressurized, strain the stock into a 5 quart pot.

2 small carrots, peeled and diced
celery heart with leaves, diced
1 small onion, diced
3 sprigs of thyme
4 chicken thighs, diced

Add everything to the pot and bring it up to a boil. Lower the heat and let it simmer. while the soup is simmering, make the dough for the dumpling.

3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp garlic and onion salt
3 tbsp of milk

Mix the flour and baking powder together. Cut in the butter until it is mostly small pieces. Add the milk and mix together. Work the dough so it incorporate together, knead a few times. Divide into about 24 pieces.

Season the soup with salt to taste. (Season now will prevent breaking up the dumplings later.) Drop the dumplings in the soup and simmer for another 10-15 minutes, try not to disturb the dumplings or they will fall apart.

That's it. It's done. If you make the stock prior, you could easily make this a mid-week meal. I filled two small containers and put them in the freezer. As much as I need to clear out my freezer a bit, there's always room for good home cooked soup.

No comments: