Chicken Soup and Dumplings

After enjoying a week of above freezing temps, New England is again feeling winter's bite. It's a damp, raw, bone-chilling cold. 

Time to make soup. 

I like to make my own broth. It's comforting. However, feel free to use whatever ready-made you wish! 

So far, my favorite broth recipe is Anne Burrell's Basic Chicken Broth.  I included it below. I highly recommend it!  

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For Broth:

2 pounds chicken legs, skins removed
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch dice
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
10 sprigs thyme

For Dumplings:

2 cups all-purpose flour (10 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
3/4 cup buttermilk , cold (see note)
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
1 large egg white


For Soup:

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Table salt and ground black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 small onions , chopped fine
2 medium carrots , peeled and diced    medium
1 celery rib , medium, chopped fine
1/4cup dry sherry
6 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
Chopped fresh parsley leaves


For Broth:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place chicken legs on a sheet pan. Lightly coat with oil and roast until golden, about 35 to 45 minutes.

2. Coat a large, deep stock pot lightly with olive oil. Add the onions, celery, carrots and garlic to the pot and bring it to a medium high heat. Cook the vegetables stirring frequently until they start to get soft and are very aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

3. Remove the chicken from the oven and add to the pot of vegetables along with the bay leaves and thyme. Fill the pot with water. Place the pot on a burner on high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Eventually a gray scum will form on the top of the water. Skim the scum and the fat off the top of the water. Simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Refill the water as it evaporates.

4. Strain stock and discard the chicken and veggies.

For Soup:

1. Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook until skin is crisp and well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken pieces and brown on second side, 5 to 7 minutes longer; transfer to large plate. Discard all but 1 teaspoon fat from pot.

2. Add onions, carrots, and celery to now-empty pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized. Stir in sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in broth and thyme. Return chicken thighs, with any accumulated juices, to pot. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until thigh meat offers no resistance when poked with tip of paring knife but still clings to bones, 45 to 55 minutes.

3. Remove pot from heat and transfer chicken to cutting board. Skim fat from soup. When cool enough to handle, remove and discard skin from chicken. Using fingers or fork, pull meat from chicken thighs and cut into 1-inch pieces. Return meat to pot.

For Dumplings:

1. Whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps; whisk in egg white. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.

2. Return stew to simmer; stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using greased tablespoon measure, scoop level amount of batter and drop over top of stew, spacing dumplings a little bit a part (they will expand). Wrap lid of Dutch oven with clean kitchen towel (keeping towel away from heat source) and cover pot. Simmer gently until dumplings have doubled in size and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes.

3. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately!