We like dumplings. It’s an easy way to fancy up any hearty soup. Mix up the dumpling batter and drop it by spoonfuls on the hot, simmering soup. Presto! You have quick Chicken and Dumplings.
What follows is a wonderful chicken soup recipe that you can use with potatoes or rice. Make it alone or top it with dumplings. This makes a family-sized batch of wonderful comfort food—about three quarts. This recipe can also be made with boneless turkey meat.
Chicken Soup Recipe
1 broiler chicken or large fryer
6 cups water
1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed sage
1/2 teaspoons thyme
1 bay leaves
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup celery, sliced
1 1/2 cups carrot slices (optional)
3/4 cup rice, 2 cups chunked potatoes, or noodles
1/3 cup flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups frozen peas (optional)
1. Rinse and drain the chicken. Place the chicken in a large pan, add water and salt, spices and herbs and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer. After 20 minutes, add the onion, celery, and optional carrots. Add potato chunks or rice if desired. (Do not add rice or potatoes if you are making chicken and noodles. Do not add noodles yet.) Continue simmering for another 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. When the chicken is tender, turn the heat off.
2. Remove the chicken to a large platter or bowl, remove the skin and discard, and let the chicken cool enough that you can debone the meat—about fifteen minutes. Remove the meat from the bones and cut into chunks. You will want two to three cups of boneless chicken.
3. Skim the fat from the chicken broth and vegetables and discard.
4. Place flour into a small bowl or large cup. Remove about one cup of broth from the pan. Add a little broth to the flour, stir the four to moisten, and then add more broth a little at a time until the entire cup of broth is added, stirring after each addition to remove lumps. Slowly stir the flour mixture into the broth. Add the chicken chunks. Add the two cups milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until the soup has thickened. If you are adding homemade noodles, flour from the noodles will further thicken the soup.
5. Add the noodles if you are using noodles. Add the peas if desired. Continue cooking until tender. Serve hot.