chicken soup for my soulJanuary 25, 2009 at 9:28 pm | Posted in food | 2 Comments
i had a free-form kind of weekend planned. only one definite commitment scheduled with the rest of the time up in the air. this resulted in me doing all the stuff i really wanted to do, some of the stuff i needed to do, and not feeling guilty about any of the rest!
friday night started with a trip to a grocery story to pick up some food and a rotisserie chicken – something i often forget about but is really useful in meal planning, is a great time saver, and is excellent on value in these days when i’m trying to save more. when i got home, i let the chicken cool off before skinning it and cutting out all the meat into cubes. i think i got at least 4-5 cups of mixed white and dark meat.
on saturday, after a trip to loblaws for loads of fresh veggies, i piled a bunch of stuff into a big pot (carrots, celery, onion, some of my home dried tomatoes, garlic, parsley) with my chicken bones and covered everything with cold water. okgo!
an hour later (maybe more, maybe less, i have no idea) i drained the works and ended up with almost 8 cups of really flavourful chicken stock that really was very little work to make and cost almost nothing. i’ll have to do this more often.
the stock and the chicken were earmarked for a project i found in a book i got from the library last week. alton brown’s book: i’m just here for more food (food X mixing + heat = baking) – chicken and dropped dumplings. after a busy saturday of roasting root veggies for the week, making a batch of toffee/chocolate oatmeal cookies (they are yummy but a tad past the line of soft and chewy into the crunchy zone) and babysitting my favorite seven year old, i got right to my project early on sunday morning.
although alton said to start with making the soup, i knew the dumplings would probably take me longer to do, so i began with the dry goods and the fat so i wouldn’t feel rushed. grating frozen butter and rubbing it into the flour mix was fantastic! i’ve always hated using a pastry cutter. i just rubbed and rubbed (like you’d rub the softness of a puppy’s ear) and then made a well in the middle for my liquid (instead of buttermilk, which i didn’t have, i used half heavy cream and half yogurt for the tang) a quick stir with a rubber spatula and i had biscuit dough! i made 12 1oz balls as instructed (my god, what did i do before i had my digital scale?? best kitchen tool ever! if you don’t have one, go buy one now!) and put them in the fridge while i diced veggies for the soup.
more carrot, celery and onion + garlic back in the pot. then i added 6 cups of my stock to boil. after about 15 minutes of simmering, i dropped the dumpling balls in to cook and then added the diced chicken meat.
the soup was perfect. the dumpling texture was great and the sage/dry mustard in the mix were yummy. it was the perfect thing to eat on a day when i was feeling a little under the weather. i’ll be making it again!
alton brown’s book is fantastic. i will be seeking out his other ones, and probably getting copies for myself. this is the kind of reference i want on my shelf.
the rest of the day was spent catching up on tv – i watched a new show called “lie to me” that i really enjoyed. i am going to wrap up my evening with an episode of private practice and the mountain of two loads of laundry that need folding before i put my head on the pillow. this is going to be a super busy week at work. i start my french classes on tuesday, which i am really stoked about. hopefully i will make a few friends (good ones to unload baked things on) and get lots of speaking practice in.
have a great monday! we’re supposed to have sunshine here in toronto, though the temperatures will be cold. hopefully i won’t have to shovel till later on in the week.