Is there anything more boring than a post (and a photo) about chicken broth? But you never know when flu or a cold will attack .....or just a rainy, gloomy day.....and nothing is more comforting than chicken soup.
My mother taught me to make chicken broth with chicken feet. They give me the creeps, but they produce an amazing broth, lovely in color, rich in nutrients not found in broth made just from a chicken and it gels just as a good broth should. When she'd serve it, she'd either swish in a beaten egg or make dumplings with an egg and some flour.
Hence, my interest in this recipe from Gabrielle's Prune cookbook.
I always have chicken broth at the ready in my freezer. You should too.
I'm not going post the recipe for my broth because I already blogged about it HERE.
(Not capon broth however. Do you know the difference between chicken and capon? D'Artagnan has a great explanation...look HERE.)
So. I made a couple changes in Gabrielle's recipe. As I already mentioned, I used the homemade chicken broth I had in the freezer rather than capon broth AND, no matter what Gabrielle says, it's nearly impossible to get these dumplings to hold together without a bit of flour, so I added just a tad, enough to keep them together. You can try a couple without and see if you have better luck. I tried four or five and while they did result in dumplings of a sort, they practically disintegrated while cooking, even at a very slow simmer. My eggs were extra large, so perhaps that was too much moisture; next time I'll use smaller eggs and see if it works better. Or perhaps it was my bread crumbs. Not enough?
What I liked was the addition of Parmesan in these dumplings and that touch of nutmeg. Just those flavor additions made them way different than my mother's. The dumplings were lovely and light, no doubt because of the tiny amount of flour. With no flour, they'd practically melt in your mouth. (Well, mine did melt in the saucepan!) I added a couple pieces of chicken to my broth, whereas Gabrielle served some on the side.
It was all I could do NOT to add a bit of parsley or something for color in the photo, but decided to hang in there with simplicity, because that's what this soup is all about.
Parmesan Dumplings in
From Prune by Gabrielle Hamilton
3/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup dried coarse bread crumbs, not panko
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups homemade capon broth
Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan and nutmeg. Make a well in the center and pour the beaten eggs in. Knead everything together.
Form into 1/2 inch balls. It's messy. Dip your hand repeatedly in ice water and spray your hand with cooking spray. (I used a small ice cream scoop)
Bring broth to a boil. Drop in dumplings and simmer for a few minutes until dumpling almost double their size. Don't boil too hard or they will split.
Retrieve dumplings with slotted spoon and place them in a shallow bowl. Pour in broth about 2/3 the way up. You can heat up a slice of chicken in some leftover broth and serve it on the side.This recipe makes about 12 smallish dumplings.
Here's the recipe straight from the cookbook.