Chicken Stoup with Dumplings

Its -5 and the snow is thick on the ground today, so its a good day for some hot soup to warm us up.

But this is not soup in the way you probably know it – I call it stoup because it is half stew and half soup, this is a thick, rich and filling meal that is guaranteed to fill you up. Try it!

Ingredients

One whole chicken –  * The main part of the chicken will be reserved for the roast dinner tomorrow
3 dessert spoons of seasoning *
One large onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
One medium potato, thinly sliced
2 carrots, sliced
Large sprig of thyme

Cornflour (optional)
handful of pasta (optional)

Dumplings:

90 g Self Raising flour (or plain flour + 1 tsp of baking powder).
A large pinch of salt
30 g fat, lard, margarine, butter, shortening … whatever fat you have to hand.
90 ml milk
Frozen peas

* (a dessert spoon = approx. 2 teaspoons, about 2/3 of a tablespoon)

Method
Brown the chicken in the pot that you will be making this dish. It does not have to be perfect.
Add the seasoning, onions, garlic and the other vegetables.
Then pour over hot water from the kettle until the chicken is almost covered.
Bring to the boil, stir, cover with the lid and turn the hob right down and leave it to cook for half an hour.

At that point give the soup a stir, add more seasoning and a little salt if you require it.
Cook for another half an hour.
Warning: lift out the chicken carefully by placing a wooden spoon inside the cavity of the chicken and use a spatula to support it.
Place aside to cool completely before chilling overnight ready for tomorrow’s roast dinner.
Remove from the chicken the two drumsticks from the legs.
With a ladle, remove two lots of the soup in order to use it as stock for tomorrow’s meal.
Shred the meat and put back into the soup pot (you can blend the mixture at this stage if you prefer smooth soup). I used a potato masher to roughly mash down some of the ingredients, as I like it more rustic.

Continue to cook. Prepare your dumplings (see below).
Add the pasta here if you are using it. If required you can mix a little cornflour with some water and add to thicken the stoup.
Drop in your dumplings
Cook in the soup for another 20 minutes, add frozen peas for the final minute, stir well and serve.

Dumplings

90 g Self Raising flour (or plain flour + 1 tsp of baking powder).
A large pinch of salt
30 g fat, lard, margarine, butter, shortening … whatever fat you have to hand.
90 ml milk

Cut up the fat into small pieces and drop it into the flour, using a knife, just mix the flour and fat together until it’s as small as possible.
Add the salt and mix through.
Slowly add the milk into the mix until your dumplings are firm, but not wet. If you add too much milk, then just throw in a spoonful of flour. This is where most mistakes might occur, you really need to move the dumpling mix around in your bowl to get it all mixed up, rather than feeling lazy and putting in too much of the milk.

Using floured hands, or a large floured spoon, make your dumplings (I put them onto a plate ready to drop into the liquid.) They should be firm, but not compressed/squashed.

Bring your soup to the boil, making sure there’s enough liquid for the dumplings to swim in
Drop the dumplings into the liquid and bring back to the boil, cover the saucepan with a lid. After 10 minutes carefully flip each dumpling over and put the lid back on.
After another 10 minutes the dumplings should be ready to eat…. and lovely and fluffy.
If they turn out a bit solid, then try to use a bit less milk next time, or make sure you’re not squashing your dumplings too tight, or make sure there’s enough liquid for them and enough room for them to expand. if they’re a bit squidgy in the middle, then the same rules apply, or maybe they need another 5 minutes!

 

 

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