Chicken with Dumplings
For the soup:
3 Tablespoons butter
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
3-4 celery stalks, including leafy tops, diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 bay leaves
3 Tablespoons flour
6-8 Cups good-quality, homemade chicken stock
1/4 Cup heavy cream
About 1 to 1 1/2 pounds cooked and shredded chicken meat. Note: This can be all breast meat, all dark meat, whatever you prefer. You can use leftover meat from a roasted chicken or boil a couple breasts and use that, for example.
For the dumplings:
2 Cups organic all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 Cup buttermilk
1. In a large pot, saute the carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves in butter over medium heat for a few minutes, until the veggies are soft.
2. Add the flour, stir and cook for a couple minutes. (This is your thickener for the soup).
3. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring well.
4. Continue to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the soup thickens to your liking.
5. Stir in the heavy cream and shredded chicken.
6. Prepare the dumplings: Sift together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and buttermilk. Combine the wet into the dry, and mix lightly. The batter will be thick. Using two spoons or your hands (my preferred method), shape the dough into balls and drop them into the soup.
7. Cook the dumplings in the soup for 10-15 minutes, until they are firm and fluffy.
8. Garnish with fresh parsley or celery tops.
This kind of cooking is forgiving, too. It doesn't mind intermittent stops and starts while you attend to more important matters. Nor is it problematic, I've found, if there is a baby occasionally hanging off your leg as you prepare it.