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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Salsa Chilli

Serves: 2 – Prep time: 5 mins – Cooking time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb lean beef mince
  • 1 green pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 tub salsa
  • ½ lb red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

To Serve:

Rice or tortillas, Sour cream & chive dip, Green salad

Method:

  1. In a non-stick sauté pan, dry fry the mince, pepper and onion for about 10 minutes until browned.
  2. Add the salsa and beans with a little water; cover and simmer for 5 minutes until thickened and reduced.
  3. Serve spooned over rice or in a tortilla wrap and finish it with a dollop or two of sour cream and chive dip.
  4. Serve with a crisp green salad.

 

BBQ Pork Ribs

Servings: 6

4 lbs pork ribs

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper/cayenne

2 cups of your favourite barbecue sauce

Directions:

1          Preheat oven to 300 F/150C/Gas 1-2.

2          Peel off tough membrane that covers the bony side of the ribs. (I didn’t bother doing this and they turned out fine)

3          Mix together the sugar and spices to make the rub.

4          Apply rub to ribs on all sides.

5          Lay ribs on two layers of foil, shiny side out and meaty side down.

Lay two layers of foil on top of ribs and roll and crimp edges tightly, edges facing up to seal.

(I just layed them in the deep baking tray with another tray on top to keep the moisture in and they turned out fine, watch out for the juices bubbling up the sides of the pan though, it didn’t go over the top, but in a shallower dish it might of done)

7          Place on baking sheet and bake for 2-2 1/2 hours or until meat is starting to shrink away from the ends of the bone.

8          Remove from oven.

9          Heat grill (I didn’t bother, just put them back in the hot oven for 10-20mins more, turned up to Gas 5/6)

10        Cut ribs into serving sized portions of 2 or 3 ribs.

11        Arrange on grill pan, bony side up.

12        Brush on sauce.

13        Grill for 1 or 2 minutes until sauce is cooked on and bubbly.

14        Turn ribs over.

15        Repeat on other side.

I served this up with steamed vegetables – carrot, sprouts, shredded cabbage – and couscous

 

 

Year 2013

Well , Hi again, It has been quite some time since I posted anything here, sorry for that. Nothing much that I can do on the allotment other than a bit of digging which I think its too wet really so I havent been doing, and the cooking at home has been mostly Christmas food and quick stuff like fish out of a box and pizza and frozen chips. So I am hoping to be getting back to normal now that my youngest is back in college and my eldest heads back to uni this weekend. I did start learning to crochet over the holidays, so maybe I will be adding a new section on basic beginner crochet stitches and patterns this year too. And I also discovered that I can get free Kindle downloads and I dont even need to have a Kindle to read them, just an app on my laptop; any way of cutting expenses or getting things for free is all good in my book. Anyway, thats all for today, I will try and be a more regular blogger this year.

Stir Fry

Yesterday’s dinner was traditional Sunday Roast Chicken served with carrots, broccoli and roast potatoes and gravy.

Today I have leftover cooked chicken, so I thought a nice stir fry would be good.  You can use whatever veg and meat you have lurking around in your kitchen.  I often do this with prawns or leftover pork or beef.  I also have the leftover stem from the broccoli which is good in stir-fry.  Waste not wants not.

First of all I like to have Teriyaki Sauce with this and it is good to make it in advance and let it percolate for good flavour.

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 tbs peeled and grated ginger
  • 2 tbs honey

Combine all the ingredients in a small pan over a high heat.  Bring to a boil and then keep on a simmer while you prepare the rest of the food.

Stir Fry (serves 3-4)

  • 3-4 servings of brown rice
  • 2-3 tbs oil
  • 2-3 cups sliced veggies ( I am using carrots, onions, broccoli stems, mushrooms and spinach because that is what I have in)
  • Chicken (cooked, leftover) (or whatever meat you have – or none if you just have veggies)
  1. Chop up the veggies and meat.  In a wok or sauté pan heat oil over medium heat.  Add the veggies (keep the mushrooms and spinach back til nearer the end because they are quick to cook) and cook until softened.
  2. Add mushrooms and cook for a few minutes, then add the spinach and cooked chicken.
  3. When the meat is warmed through add the teriyaki sauce.  You may not need all of it, how much is a matter of personal preference. I like to dip raw veggies in any leftover for a snack or lunch.
  4. Serve over the cooked rice.  Some sliced fresh pineapple or mango is nice on the side, or fruity chutney.

Leftovers will be used to make fried rice tomorrow.

 

I did intend to get a photo of this but it disappeared too rapidly to take any, sorry.

 

 

 

NO EGG BREAKFAST

I used to eat lots of eggs – almost every day. Scrambled or poached on toast for breakfast, lunch or supper, omelette with salad or chips for lunch or dinner, fried with bacon for breakfast, on sandwiches, boiled with a salad for lunch or dinner, mixed in with fried rice for dinner or supper – you name it I ate it.
Then for some reason I cannot remember, I stopped having them for quite some time – 6 months or a year, not sure how long as it wasn’t a conscious decision to stop.
One day I purchased an egg sandwich for lunch whilst out and I felt so ill afterwards.  I thought it was just a bad sandwich and realising that eggs had left my diet and wondering why, I got a box.
I was ill every time I had an egg – so thinking maybe it was a bad box, I bought another – same thing, and it slowly dawned on me that I had developed an allergy or intolerance to eggs. I cannot tell you how gutted I was, remembering how I used to have them all the time in one form or another, and how it was such a great food, the perfect fast food in fact. The healthy, perfect combination of fat, carbs and protein all in a handy 1 serving package.
I was in denial to begin with, how I could be intolerant to something that I had so much of all my life. I tried different ways and quantities of eating them, nothing worked.  I do use them in cakes – I can get away with just having a slice of cake one time a day without unpleasant side effects.  I use them as a coating on things like breaded chicken nuggets – again, so long as I don’t have too many, I don’t suffer too much. But I cannot eat a whole egg like I once did.
Breakfast is the meal that I struggle with most; nearly any breakfast involves the use of eggs.
I did some research, and found there are myriad of healthy, egg free breakfast choices available that offer all the vitamins, minerals and energy you need to start your day.
If you are vegan, on low cholesterol diet or like me just avoiding eggs, there are many breakfasts you can have that will keep you full for hours.

Eating a healthy, balanced breakfast every day helps improve your concentration and focus and boosts your health overall.  Adults who eat breakfast every day are more likely to consume more vitamins and minerals and less fat and cholesterol than those who don’t eat breakfast.

Prepare a breakfast that includes at least one serving of lean or low fat protein along with items from the other food groups.  One advantage of eating eggs is they provide a large amount of protein.  The body needs protein in combination with fat and carbohydrates to satiate hunger and maintain healthy bones and tissues. So when you go egg free you need to choose alternatives that also offer healthy amounts of protein.  Consider including, milk, cheese, soy milk, peanut butter and lean meats.
If you are making pancakes, waffles, muffins or other breakfasts that traditionally call for eggs you can substitute ¾ cup boiling water and ¼ cup ground flaxseed for every 2 eggs in a recipe.
Choose muesli, whole grain cereals, low fat dairy and fresh fruits and veg as healthy breakfast foods.  Egg alternatives include nut butters, lean meats or fish.
Try fresh apple slices with peanut butter, or yogurt with berries and granola.