It’s been snowing outside for the last couple of days – big, fluffy, Hollywood-perfect snowflakes. It snowed eight inches here overnight. This is the most snowfall we’ve gotten at one time this winter and let me just say, it’s about time!
I love winter. Not necessarily the parts where it’s too cold to snow and your nostrils freeze with every inhale. But the parts of winter where you have beautiful snowfalls like this one and warm, crackling wood fires, and cozy meals to warm your soul. Those moments make my heart smile.
It is definitely soup weather.
This chicken soup recipe has been in my family for years. My family keeps this soup very simple – using chicken parts with skin and keeping everything on the bone (we eat our soup with a spoon AND a fork for this very reason) and keeping the seasonings very mild, adding salt to our individual bowls to meet each of our needs. This is my version of their recipe. If I have stock on hand, I use low-fat chicken breast meat, plenty of seasonings and boost the nutritional content by adding spinach to the dumplings. Tne thing that hasn’t changed (and will never change) is the addition of allspice. Polish people love their allspice, and this soup isn’t any different. In my humble Pollock opinion, the allspice makes this soup!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do. Stay warm out there!
Fresh parsley or celery leaves, chopped, for garnish
Mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder for the dumplings in a medium sized bowl. Add the spinach and eggs and combine. Slowly add the cream and mix until the dough is moist (you may or may not use all of the 1/4 cup of liquid). Set aside.
In a large stockpot, saute the onions in the olive oil over medium heat. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the celery and carrots. Cook for 3 more minutes, then add the chicken broth, seasonings and salt and pepper. Place the bay leaves and whole allspice into a teaball or cheese cloth and add them to the pot as well. Add the chicken breasts, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
Remove the bay leaves and allspice. Taste the broth and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the broth to a low boil and drop your dough into the broth by heaping teaspoonfuls. Do this as quick as possible so your dumplings will cook evenly. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 8 more minutes.
While the dumplings are cooking, shred the chicken breasts with two forks. When the dumplings are cooked (they will puff up and float to the top of your soup), remove the pot from the heat and add the shredded chicken. Mix and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving. The soup will be VERY hot! Garnish and serve.
Dumplings — the college dorm room staple. Whether you order take-out or keep them frozen in your tiny dorm freezer, they’re easy to reheat and great after long nights of skipping study group and bingeing on beer bongs and cheap shots of cheap tequila.
I have had a bit of an obsession with dumplings lately. First, the wontons, and now DUMPLING MADNESS…
I could totally make a killing at inventing new dumplings and making batches of them at a time. Granted, my dumplings won’t win any beauty competitions, but it’s what’s inside that counts, right?
Don’t judge me food art community. *points* I know who you are.
I made these on a whim one night after grocery shopping. Cue 9:00pm: Miss McBooty hasn’t eaten anything for hours. What is this? The crazy cooking lady starts roasting a chicken, shreds it, and creates her delightful dumpling guts. After three hours… she finally devours these around midnight. I earned that midnight snack I tell you.
The moment I bit into one of these bad boys, I immediately tumbled down college memory lane.
1 pound shredded or ground chicken meat, white meat preferred
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 cup shredded carrot
2 teaspoons green curry paste
4 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
4 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger root
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
Cabbage or parchment paper for your bamboo steamer (you can fry these in a wok with a little oil too)
Oil for sautéing
1 pack of wonton wrappers
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon hot chili oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
1 clove minced garlic
Green onions (for decoration)
In a small pan, saute the shallots, garlic and green onion for a couple of minutes. Add the chicken meat and stir-fry on medium-high until the chicken is no longer pink (if your chicken is already cooked, add it in the pan and toss for a few minutes anyway). Add the carrot and the remaining ingredients. Stir thoroughly and remove from heat.
Add water to your pan and prepare your bamboo steamer on the side. Use cabbage leaves or parchment paper to prevent your dumplings from sticking after they steam. You can add some green tea to your water for some added flavor too. Bring the water to a high simmer.
Set out the wonton wrappers with a small bowl filled with water. Lay out one wrapper, place a tablespoon of the chicken filling in the middle, dip your finger in the water and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Fold the wonton so the edges create a seal, pinch and set aside. Continue until the mixture is gone.
Add as many dumplings to your steamer as you can without the dumplings touching each other. Place your steamer in the simmering water and let your dumplings steam for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the wonton skins are clear. Repeat until all of your dumplings are cooked.
Combine ingredients for the dipping sauce and serve either drizzled on the dumplings or on the side.
You can freeze your dumplings and cook them later. Do not steam them when you prep the dumplings. Instead set them in a freezer bag for use later on. When you're ready to eat them, take them out while your bamboo steamer is warming, and place them in the basket (semi-thawed is fine). Steam until the wrapper turns clear.