Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Symon Sundays: Chicken and Dumpling Soup and Lizzie's Roast Chicken with Salsa Verde

On Monday morning I went to a water aerobics class, Aqua Zumba, to be exact.  My friend and I loved the class.  In fact we loved the class more than I can even say.  Afterward we felt great and immediately made plans to go again.  We were both feeling on top of the world.  However, when I woke up Tuesday morning, everything (and I do mean everything) ached.  Apparently Aqua Zumba is an awesome workout because I have NEVER been this sore.....not in all my life.

I had to laugh when I rolled out of bed, planted my foot on the ground, and found that even the arches in my feet were sore. Turns out walking on your tip toes against the current works the muscles in your feet.  The good news is that my feet should be in great shape for flip flops and sandals this year.  The bad news is that I could hardly move yesterday. 

By the middle of the day I was able to move around enough to make Symon's Chicken and Dumpling Soup.  This recipe was possible because it really didn't require too much on my part.  I had already made the chicken stock and cooked the chicken.  It was just a matter of slicing some veggies throwing them in a pot and making some dumplings.  I'm talking quick and easy, and the best squatting involved!  
 Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Adapted from Michael Symon's Live To Cook
Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 carrots, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
4 cups Chicken Stock (homemade preferably)
2 cups shredded chicken
1 bay leaf

1/2 cup chicken fat (skimmed from the top of your homemade stock) 
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
Optional garnish: chopped parsley

To make the soup:
  Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat.  Add the carrots, onion, garlic, and a good three-finger pinch of salt.  Sweat the veggies, stirring occasionally, for 2 -3 minutes.  Add the stock and bring it to a simmer.  Allow stock to simmer while you make the dumplings.

To make the dumplings:  Combine 1/2 cup chicken fat (or 1/2 cup butter) in a saucepan with the milk and bring to a simmer over medium heat.  Add the salt, pepper, and nutmeg.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour, stirring with a heavy wooden spoon until the flour has absorbed all the milk and the resulting dough pulls away from the sides of the pan.  Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until each eggs incorporated.

Drop, scoop, or cut the dough one tablespoon (I made mine much larger) into the soup.  My method is to wet a cutting board and press portions of the sticky dough into thin sheets about 1/4 inch thick and 1-1/2 inches wide, then cut into about 1/2-inch pieces, and scrape them into the soup.  Add the shredded chicken and simmer all for about 10 minutes, garnish with parsley (if using), and serve.

Notes/Results:  I did alter Symon's recipe quite a bit.  I used the 3lb chicken to make his recipe for homemade chicken stock so that I could use both the chicken stock and chicken fat for the soup and dumplings.  Since my chicken was already cooked, I skipped the step of cooking it in the soup itself.  Additionally, Symon adds both parsnip and celery root to his soup, but there was no way I was running to the store so I just went with what I had on hand.  And finally, I halved the recipe for the soup and used the whole recipe for the dumplings, creating a chicken soup with double the dumplings.  The recipe above reflects my changes.  I'm very glad I let my homemade stock sit overnight in the fridge so that I could use the chicken fat in the dumplings.  I think the chicken fat really helped to give the dumplings, and overall, the soup a great flavor.   This was a perfectly wonderful meal that certainly helped to warm my aching muscles.  I would make it again!
Next up is Lizzie's (Symon's wife) Roast Chicken with Salsa Verde.  Let me go ahead and say right now that I didn't do this recipe justice.  I should have used a meat thermometer to make sure it was completely done before I went to serve it, but I didn't.  Instead I cut the chicken open, hoping to serve dinner, and found out that it wasn't done.  Argh!  Note to self: buy a good meat thermometer.  Also, I should know by now that when the inside of your chicken is stuffed full then it usually always takes a bit longer to cook.  In the end it was all good though because this chicken was super moist, really flavorful, and worth repeating.  I believe there are two secrets to why this chicken was so good.
  1. The chicken gets salted, liberally, the day before cooking and is refrigerated overnight.
  2. The chicken is allowed to come to room temperature for an hour prior to cooking.
Lizzie's Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde
Adapted from Michael Symon's Live To Cook
Serves 4
1 (3-4-pound) chicken
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeded
2 fresh bay leaves
1 small onion, peeled
3 garlic cloves
1 small bunch of fresh thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil

A day before cooking, rinse the chicken inside and out under cold water and pat dry.  Salt it liberally, cover, and refrigerate.

Remove the chicken from the refrigerator an hour before cooking it.  

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Lift the skin off each chicken breast and wedge 3 lemon slices and a bay leaf between the skin and each breast.  Put the onion, garlic, thyme, and remaining lemon in the cavity of the chicken.  Rub the entire chicken liberally with the olive oil.  Put the chicken in an ovenproof saute pan or in a roasting pan breast side up, slide it into the oven, and roast it until the thigh reaches 160F or until the cavity juices run clear, about 1 hour.

Remove from the oven and let rest for 10-20 minutes.  Cut the chicken into 8 pieces and serve with the salsa verde.

Salsa Verde
Makes 1-1/4 cups
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh mint
2 salt-packed anchovy-fillets, rinsed and minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 shallot, minced
grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers, rinsed and chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (about 1 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the parsley, mint, anchovies, garlic, shallot, lemon zest and juice, capers, jalapeno, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a bowl and stir to combine.  Add some salt and pepper to taste.

Notes/Results:  I definitely recommend salting the chicken the day before and also pulling the chicken out one hour prior to roasting.  I think this is a great roast chicken recipe and it's one that I would make again.  I'd just be sure to use my meat thermometer next time.
I am submitting both recipes to Symon Sundays which is being hosted by Ashlee of Veggie by Season.

In the meantime I'm off to help my daughter's girl scout leaders lift and move 300 cases of girl scout cookies.  Wish me luck.  If I don't have to squat then I just might make it.  LOL!


  1. That chicken and dumpling soup looks amazing! Comforting, warm, and easy to make...can't beat that!

  2. Chicken fat in dumplings!! Yes!

  3. Mmmmm, the chicken dumplings sound wonderful! It is always a great comforting dish. Hope you were able to move the cookies without squatting!

  4. We have lots of snow on the ground today and this looks divine! Warm and comforting! I can't wait for your shrimp and grits recipe. I'm planning to bring a grits dish to an Academy Awards party to represent True Grit and I experimented with one on Monday and it was less than stellar!

  5. I love chicken and dumplings, I make them at least once or twice every winter. Looks delicious Kim!

  6. I just started doing regular zumba and man it is a SERIOUS workout! I'm hoping that it will make me a better dancer. Fat chance.

    I'm still so sorry about your chicken! I used a candy thermometer instead of a meat thermometer. Because I am insane.

    And I can't wait to make that chicken and dumpling soup! I do have to find a way to healthify those dumplings though...

  7. I really want that soup,Kim!!!!Looks so good. I love is really fun!

  8. An exercise that even makes your feet sore? Yikes! I'm loving the dumpling soup, serious yum!

  9. Sounds like a great class! I love chicken and dumplings. You absolutely need a good meat thermometer. I have several, but really wish I could figure out the digital one that came with my oven. We bought the house 4 years old, so no directions.

  10. I need to pull out the cookbook. Love the chicken fat in the dumplings (how many points is that) but how soft they must be. Looks beautiful and I appreciate all the chicken because I do chicken, chicken, chicken.

  11. You reminded me it's been way too long since I made chicken and dumplings! This looks insanely hearty and comforting. Thanks for the tips on the roast chicken!

  12. Zumba is a fun class. Water Zumba has got to be a blast. If you are sore that's a good sign, it means those muscles were working and that you were having a great time.

    Both these chicken dishes look really good. Does not matter that in one dish the chicken was not quite done-easily correctable.

    If you ever would like to submit a photo my WW do not hesitate. I would love to host your photo. I think the photo you were describing sounds really cool.

    Take care.

  13. Both recipes look fabulous, especially the roast chicken with salsa verde! I sure hope the soreness is better. I've been there recently myself ;)

  14. Sounds like Zumba is a killer workout. Hope your poor aching muscles are feeling a little better today!

    Both of these recipes sound fantastic and the chicken and dumplings soup sounds like the perfect comfort food :o)

  15. Be still, my heart! I love dumplings. I am definitely going to make that!

  16. This sounds oh so delicious!!! Good luck with the girl scout cookies;)

  17. I think I've told you before...I'm so not good at roasting chicken. Sadly, I do have a decent meat thermometer!

  18. Mmm, delish! Great job on the chicken dishes - makes me wish I used chicken fat in the dumplings!

  19. Embarrassed.....

    I read the title then then near the end of the part for the soup I kept going back wondering where the BLEEP is the salsa verde?????

    Then I scrolled down more and saw this was TWO recipes in one post. I'm blond.

  20. Looks like two perfect comfort food meals. Gorgeous soup and the salsa verde sounds wonderful.

    Hope you re over the soreness--Water Zumba sounds like fun. ;-)


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