Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fishing Opener and Chicken Dumpling Soup

We've been doing a little (okay a lot) of fishing lately. The fishing season opened on Saturday. We didn't make it out on Saturday because Steve was sick. I made him chicken dumpling soup to make him feel better by Sunday. We got out for a few hours Sunday at the north end of our lake.

Yesterday we went to the Kawishiwi Falls to try for walleye at the bottom of the falls. These falls are on our lake, Fall Lake!

I caught three in the morning with my neighbor, Roland. Then after work Steve and I went back out and he caught two (I mostly read my book listening to the falls). Now we have enough for a nice walleye supper!

Speaking of our neighbors, Roland and Judy, they spend the winters down in Texas near where my mom and dad live in the winter. When they got back they gave me some onions from the valley. Look at these!

I used some in the chicken dumpling soup I made for Steve.

Chicken Dumpling Soup

4 lbs chicken pieces - Steve likes dark, so I used only thighs this time (about 10 thighs)
2 T olive oil
2 small onions, diced - or as many as you like, I used two of the huge Texas onions
2 large cloves garlic, minced (use more to keep away mosquitoes)
1 cup dry white wine (do NOT use "cooking wine" only use wine you would drink)
8 cups chicken stock
1 tsp thyme (I used fresh rosemary)
3 bay leaves
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 carrots (or more) cut into 1/2-inch rounds
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a pot and brown the chicken (about 4 minutes per side) only putting a few in the pan at a time so they don't crowd. Remove the chicken to a plate to rest.

When all the chicken pieces have been removed fro the pot, add the onions and garlic and reduce the heat to medium low Saute until the onions are softened but not browned.

Return the chicken to the pot, along with any accumulated juices, and add the wine. (I remove the skin from the chicken at this point - you can leave it on if you like.) Increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Cook, uncovered, until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes, then add the chicken stock, thyme, bay leaves, and cayenne. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and cook at barely a simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is almost done, about 1 hour.

Add the carrots and continue simmering until the chicken is very tender and almost falling off the bone and the vegetables are tender (about 15 minutes).

While that simmers, prepare the dumplings:


2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp snipped fresh chives (I used about a cup!)
1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 cup milk

Combine the flour, baking powder, salt, chives and parsley in a bowl. Add the milk and mix to make a thick batter.

Drop the dumpling batter by the tablespoonful directly onto the simmering stew. Cover tightly and simmer over low heat for exactly 15 minutes. Don't be tempted to peek! After 15 minutes, the dumplings will be perfect.

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