New Soul: Chicken and Dumplings

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The recent blast of frigid weather sweeping across the country has definitely put me in the mood for
warm and yummy comfort foods — a dish that, as my grandmother used to say, will “stick to your ribs.”

Speaking about this with my partner, Jah, a professional cook for 20-plus years, he recalled a dish that he has always loved to prepare during the winter:

“A wintertime favorite of mine, this soup was powerful enough to drive out the cold and substantial enough to leave me feeling full yet energized. A great lunchtime meal that will get me through the rest of the dreariness of the cold and eager to come home for more chicken deliciousness. As always, this recipe can modified and ingredients substituted as n eeded, canned broth or homemade, for example. The inclusion of broccoli in this recipe provided the often absent crunch in a chunky yet light soup like this. Plus, I love broccoli and its cousins, the cauliflower and even the broccoflower.”

So, with his blessing, I am sharing his feel-good, taste-good bowl of yummy and warm chicken goodness. While it’s not a traditional soul food staple, I am definitely adding it to my Soul Food Recipebox.

Enjoy and stay warm!

Filling ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cut up (3-5 pounds)
8 cups water
2-3 cups diced carrots
½-1 cup diced celery
2-3 cups roughly chopped broccoli florets
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ bunch parsley
½-1 Tbsp poultry seasoning, store bought or homemade

Homemade poultry seasoning:
½ cup dried parsley
¼ cup rubbed sage
½-1½ tsp crushed rosemary
½-1½ tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp onion powder or dried onion flakes, as desired
1 tsp kosher salt ¼-½ tsp black pepper

Cream of chicken
Base:

½-1 cup chicken broth, additional or taken from stock
¼-½ tsp poultry seasoning
¼ tsp onion powder or ¼ cup finely chopped onion
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp kosher salt and black pepper, each
¼ bunch parsley
1 pinch/dash paprika, as desired
1 cup milk, save ¼ cup to be added later

Slurry: Mix remaining ¼ cup of milk with 2 Tbsp flour

Dumplings:

2 cups flour 1 cup milk 3 Tbsp softened butter ½ tsp kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

1 Simmer chicken, vegetables, parsley, thyme, poultry seasoning, salt, and pepper in large pot until tender.

2 Remove chicken until cool enough to debone and return to pot with vegetables and broth.

3 Make the base for the cream of chicken by boiling in a medium saucepan. Make the slurry and slowly add to the base as it is boiling whisking vigorously until a medium/full boil and slightly thickened.

4 Add cream of chicken into large pot of chicken, broth, and vegetables and gently simmer.

5 Make the dumplings by mixing all ingredients, working the butter in, and saving the milk to add last. You can make golf ball sized balls and press out to ½ inch thickness to drop them into the broth or take large handfuls and pull off marble to golf ball sized bits for a bit of irregularity.

6 Drop them slowly into the simmering broth and cook 10-15 minutes submerged completely until done.

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