This recipe makes the most of your Sunday Roasts, plus a few essentials you should find in your store cupboard and fridge.
1 chicken carcass
Left over chicken (any old bits picked off the bone)
1 small chopped onion
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 small carrots, roughly chopped
A few sprigs of parsley
A few sprigs of lemon thyme
2 chicken stock cubes
100g self-raising flour
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped lemon thyme
A dash or two of milk.
Following your roast, remove as much meat as possible from the carcass. Create 2 piles. 1 of meat of a reasonable size, suitable for stir fry or risotto; 1 of smaller pieces ideal for the broth. Obviously the amount of meat you have left over will depend on the size of the chicken and the number of those dining.
Place the chicken carcass in a large saucepan along with the onion, celery, carrots and herbs.
Add 1.5 litres of water plus the stock cubes.
Bring to the boil and simmer with the lid on for an hour.
Remove the carcass.
(Now . . . I do up to this point on the sunday, straight after dinner. You can then cool the soup and keep it in the fridge until Monday or Tuesday night)
To make the dumplings
Make the dumpling batter by sifting together flour and a little salt into a medium bowl. Add (optional) chopped fresh herbs. Add melted butter and a dash or two of milk to the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until mixture just comes together. (Do not overmix! Or you’ll have heavy dumplings).
Shape the dumplings into small balls (the size of large marbles).
(Reheat the soup if necessary). Add any bits of leftover chicken, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Check the seasoning. If you like your broths a little thicker, add a couple of dessert spoons of cornflower mixed with a dash of water to give you your desired consistency.
Add the prepared dumplings.
Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes.
Once you have covered the pan, do not uncover and peek while the dumplings are cooking! In order for the dumplings to be light and fluffy, they must steam, not boil. Uncovering the pan releases the steam.
If after 20 minutes they are still not cooked through (use a toothpick or skewer to test) cover pan again, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.
Serve with some crusty bread and butter.
Hubby paid me the greatest compliment when I cooked this – “just like my Mum used to make” – chuffed!