The Chicken base is very simple.
I have consulted with multiple recipes and have formulated a recipe that works well for me.
You will need:
- 6 skinless boneless chicken thighs (or more or less depending on how much you need for your family)
- 2 medium onions diced
- 2 to 3 carrots chopped
- 3 to 4 ribs of celery chopped
- garlic, two to three cloves minced
- shallots 1 or 2 if they are big then you only need one minced
- veg or olive oil - about two or three tablespoons
- all purpose flour - two to three heaping tablespoons
- chicken broth (two 32 ounce boxes or enough to poach your chicken in, in a pinch I have used a combination of broth and water)
- salt and pepper to taste
If you have homemade chicken stock available then use it however store bought works just as well.
I use boneless skinless chicken thighs or a combination of both thighs and breasts. Whatever is on sale at the store really, y’all know me I am all about a barging.
In a large pot I bring the chicken broth to a boil and then I place the chicken into the stock and let it come back to a gently boil and then I turn the pot off and cover it and let the chicken poach for one hour. The one hour is approximate, if my chicken is big and thick like a big fat chicken breast it will need 45 minutes to a full hour. If you have smaller pieces like a small thighs then you may only need thirty minutes. The key is to not over cook the chicken, you want it to be moist and tender. Remember you will be giving the chicken an additional 10 to 12 minutes of cooking time when you finish it off with the dumplings.
You can add additional seasonings to your stock such as a bay leaf, a few cloves of garlic or even a few whole peppercorns, whatever seasoning you like. Make sure your broth is well seasoned or your chicken will be bland.
After one hour you can pull your chicken out and set aside. When your chicken is cool enough to handle you can either pull apart the chicken into bite size pieces or cut up in small chunks. Which ever is more appealing to you.
Reserve your hot broth for later, do not discard, keep it on the stove on a very low simmer.
While the chicken in cooling chop up two medium size onion, two to three carrots, a few cloves of garlic maybe some shallots if you have them and sauté them in oil, olive or vegetable which ever you prefer.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Make sure you us a large skillet with a tight fitting lid to sauté you veggies in you will need the lid later when cooking the dumplings.
When veggies are tender add a few heaping tablespoon of all purpose flour to the mix and stir. You may need to add additional oil, maybe just a tablespoon or two to achieve the desired consistency of a roux.
Continue to cook for a few minutes to cook out the raw flour taste and to get a slight bit of color in the roux.
Once your veggies in the roux are done you will add several ladles of the warm chicken stock to the veggies and vigorously stir to remove all the lumps.
Continue to add the stock by the ladle full until the base reaches the consistency you like. If you like a thicker consistency you may only want to ad a few ladles of stock, if you like a thinner soup constancy you will need to add several ladles of stock.
I like mine to be the consistency of a creamy soup.
Be sure to taste at this point and re-season if necessary.
When your base is complete keep on a low simmer and move on the the dumplings
Click on dumplings for the recipe!
Mix up the dumplings and set aside. If you have some fresh herbs and want to add a few tablespoons of minced up parsley or other green herb into your dumpling batter for color feel free. I toss in a few table spoons of minced fresh parsley if I have it at hand, I just didn’t have any this last time though.
Add the cut up chicken into the Chicken base and bring to a simmer.
With a small ice cream scoop, if you do not have a small ice cream scoop you can us a large soup spoon, spoon the dumpling mixture into the chicken with about 1 inch of space between each dumpling, they will spread out and puff up a lot as they cook.
Cover and cook on low to medium for about 10 to 12 minutes.
When the dumplings are done they should be firm to the touch and nearly doubled in size.Their constancy inside should be light and fluffy.
Spoon up one to two dumplings in a large bowl and add a generously ladle of Chicken on top and serve immediately!
Comfort food personified!
I will work on the Short Ribs and post that one also but not today….