Wednesday, July 4, 2007

chicken and saffron dumplings

mmm...chicken & dumplings. i like to make things from scratch, but i don't mind telling you i've used bisquick every time--the mix makes perfect dumplings. unfortunately, bisquick is hard to come by these days, though i heard a rumor you can score it at the marushin in toyama shi. today we will make the dumplings from scratch. i threw in a little saffron just to make things fun.
ingredients for chicken stock
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 onion
2 bouillon cubes (1)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 pack boneless chicken thighs
60 mL milk

ingredients for dumplings:
350 mL all purpose flour (2)
2 tsp baking powder (3)
1/2 tsp salt
1 packet saffron
3 tsp shortening (4)
175 mL milk

日本語: (1) チキンコンソメ, (2) フラワー, (3) ベーキングパダー, (4) ショートニング

i bought the saffron at yamaya in takaoka. everything else i bought at al plaza in kosugi.

let's go!
chicken stock
you might be tempted to buy chicken breasts, or cut off that big piece of fat, but you're gonna lose a lot of flavor that way, so please refrain.

1. cut the carrot, celery (don't throw away those leaves!), and onion into big chunks--you need not make it pretty. don't cut up your chicken just yet. throw all ingredients except for the milk into a big pot. add water until just covered.

2. bring it to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. let that bad boy cook for 60-75 minutes. smoke a cigarette and have a glass of wine.

3. mmm, smell that? nice, yeah? ok, now you want to pull the chicken pieces out and set aside.

4. carefully pour the contents of your stock pot into a colander placed inside a mixing bowl. pull the colander out. check out your mixing bowl--that's chicken stock! poor the stock back into the stock pan.

5. you have a couple of options with the mushy veggies left in your colander. first, you can do what i always do, and throw them out. second, you can do what i did this last time, and kind of smash them through the holes of your colander into the stock. i think this last idea turned out just fine, and is less wasteful. whatever you do, the point is the broth should be relatively smooth, without chunks of mushy vegetables.

6. pour the milk in, stir a bit, and put the stock back on a burner turned very low, just to keep things hot. dumpling time!

1. sift the dry ingredients together into a mixing bowl.
2. mix in the shortening--i find a fork to be a nice tool for this job. you'll know it's mixed well when there are no big chunks and it feels kind of mealy between your fingers.

3. now, mix in the milk. ooooooooh--magic! isn't that cool? i love saffron! don't get crazy with the mixing or your dumplings will have a weird texture. just enough that you don't have chunks of flour or pools of milk. now you're ready to get your hands messy!

the big show
1. bring your broth to just boiling--some kind of science happens when you drop the dumplings in, and it could get messy if you drop them into a rolling boil.

2. the dough is sticky (if it is too too sticky to work with, you can add a little more flour), so really the easiest way to do this is with your hands. pull a piece the size of one of those little mochi balls on a stick and flatten it to about 1 cm thickness in your hand. note: your dumpling may not be a perfect shape. don't worry about it.

3. gently drop the dumpling into the broth. it should rise to the top on its own and start getting bigger.

4. the dumplings will eventually take up the whole surface area, but just push them to the side with a spoon to make room for more. do not stir or otherwise play rough with the dumplings while they are cooking, or you might make gravy.

5. dumplings don't take long to cook, maybe 10 minutes. i always test by biting one--if it's good, they're done.

6. take the fat off the chicken and toss it. cut (or even better, shred) the chicken into tiny pieces. throw it in with your dumplings and mix it in a bit.

7. good work! spoon the dumplings into a bowl, and enjoy!


gretel said...

welcome to the blog world disco! If you come up with some delicious vegetarian recipes, I am on it! ;)

Snow said...

Keep up the good work.