Saturday, March 26, 2011

So you can spend more time gardening

Try this in your slow cooker:

Chicken Paprikash, known in our house as
Lulu's Chicken Dumpling Soup

1 4lb. chicken
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1-1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 tsp. paprika
chicken bouillon cubes to taste
pepper to taste
2 eggs
1-1/2 tsp. salt
1 C. all-purpose flour
(3 C. cooked chicken from the original 4 lb. chicken)
4 T. unsalted butter
2 C. onions, chopped
1 T. roasted garlic, minced
1/2 C. all-purpose flour
3 C. cooked chicken (I use Trader Joe's frozen boneless seasoned chicken strips)
1 T. Smoked Tabasco (chipotle sauce)

1.  Place the chicken, salt, red pepper flakes and paprika in your slow cooker.  Fill the stoneware 3/4 of the way full with water.  Cover; cook on low for 9 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

(While the chicken cooks, how about pulling some of those early "weeds"?  Cardamine, or Bittercress, can be harvested for fresh salad greens, as can Miner's Lettuce.  Cardamine has a peppery flavor, and a unique bitterness that is best enjoyed in very small amounts.  Miner's Lettuce has a sweet flavor and juiciness that makes for great fresh eating.  Keep an eye out for them.)

2.  Remove the chicken from the slow cooker and turn the temperature to high.  Add water as needed to bring the volume back up to 2/3 -  3/4 full.  Add bouillon cubes to taste.  This is your chicken broth.

3.  As the chicken cools slightly, put a skillet on the burner and add the 4 T. butter, chopped onions, and garlic.  Cook until the onion is translucent.  Stir in 1/2 C. flour until fully incorporated.  Pour in 1 Qt. of your chicken broth, stirring constantly, and add your additional 3 C. chicken to the broth.  Cover.  Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.

4.  While your skillet simmers, separate the meat from the whole chicken and discard the skin and bones.  Cut the chicken meat into bite-size pieces.  You should get 3 C. cooked chicken from your 4 lb. bird.

5.  In a blender or food processor, combine the 3 C. cooked chicken from your whole bird, 2 eggs, 3/4 C. chicken broth from your slow cooker, 1 C. flour, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt.  Process until smooth.  This is your dumpling mixture.

6.  When slow cooker broth is boiling, add the contents of your small skillet to it and stir to incorporate mixture.  Let cook for 2-3 minutes.

7.  Drop dumpling mixture by rounded spoonfuls into boiling broth.  Simmer uncovered 5-8 minutes until well-formed and slightly browned.

8.  Add smoked tabasco to the slow cooker, and soup is ready to serve hot!

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