- Take a roast chicken.
- Eat your favouite bits, alone over the kitchen sink. Remove the rest of the meat for later.
- Put the bones in a pot and cover with water - I didn't completely cover my chicken (if he really wants to escape, I thought I should at least give him a fighting chance).
- Bring to simmer, remove any scum then add unchopped onion, leek, celery stick, peeled carrots, bay leaf, fresh parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. Whatever you want really.
- Simmer gently while you completely reorganise your wardrobe (mine is big and was very messy).
- Strain the liquid (not down the sink!), and put it in the fridge overnight. If there's any good meat left, rescue it then put the veg, skin and bones in the bin.
- The next day if your stock has turned to jelly run for your life, you have spawned an alien mother. Not really, jelly = good. You are amazing. Scrape the fat off the top (discard) then reheat, adding in however much meat and any vegetables you want (I highly recommend carrots and mange-tout for colour, crunch and flavour). Only ten/fifteen minutes for the carrots, five for the mange-tout.
- Make dumplings from one tablespoon of butter to three of self-raising flour, lots of salt and pepper, and a smidgen of fresh ginger. Rub ingredients together between your fingers for a fine crumbly mixture, then add a very teeny bit of water to combine. Roll into balls the size of dumplings and cook for the last fifteen minutes or so directly in the gently bubbling soup or separately (either way, covered), depending on how clear you want the finished soup.
What did it taste like? So good. The freshness of the ginger lifts the salty chicken goodness and the dumpling/mange-tout combination was a surprising delight.
- The longer you cook the original stock, the later you should put in your veg. Mine went for 3 or 4 hours I think. But the veg only half of that. Also, the longer you cook it, the jellier it will be; apparently this has lots of exceedingly good health benefits. One hour absolute minimum.
- For the dumplings, as much water as you can cup in your hand and successfully transport across the kitchen is probably enough to start with. Press the mixture together, gathering all the crumbs. It should be a playdough consistency. I made about six little dumplings.
- I bend a tablespoon to a right angle to facilitate scraping the layer of fat that has come to the top of the stock.
Extra points: Don't get excited, these are just for me - I had to complete my soup and dumplings without a working cooker, because it died while my soup was in the fridge :( I had to oven my soup and veg and microwave the dumplings :)
Here is the finished result: