October 26, 2016
Shall I start blogging again? Today at least. I’m not sure it’s something I can ever sustain as regularly as I once did. These days all I care about is: Cooking. Babies. Puppies. Humor.
To that end, here is a recipe for a soup I invented last night, which is now one of his favorite dishes.
Curried Chicken and Dumplings
He is from Trinidad, where curry is the national dish. That and roti (see roti pic several posts below). Roti is a lot of work and a lot of mess and a lot of cleanup, though, so I do not make it nearly as often as he’d like. But curry is not so much trouble. And last night I had a pack of chicken drumsticks I needed to use, and thought of chicken soup. There is nothing easier than dropping some chicken, onion, and other veggies into a big pot with some water and letting it boil away. But to make it a little bit special, and a little more like home for him, I added curry and some cornmeal dumplings, as well as a bit of green seasoning as a topping. After two bites, and a bowl still full, he exclaimed, “I’m going to need more of this!”
Sorry no pics. We ate it too fast.
6 chicken drumsticks
1 large onion, sliced
2tb vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots or 1 sweet potato, chopped
1 heaping tablespoon curry powder (Chief brand if you can find it)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (use fresh if you have it; I didn’t)
2 tsp salt, or more to taste
black pepper to taste
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
about 1/3 cup milk
Handful Italian parsley or cilantro (Culantro is best if you can find it, but you probably can’t)
1 clove of garlic
1 tablespoon lime juice
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion slices and saute for about 2 mins; add curry powder, cumin, and ginger. Let the mixture simmer for several minutes, until the onions are browning and the curry is darkening and separating from the oil. Add garlic and stir, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan, for about 30 seconds. Add chicken and stir together so chicken is coated. Add enough water (or chicken broth if you have it) to cover the chicken by at least two inches. Add carrots, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, partially covered, at least 45 minutes.
While the soup is simmering, make the dumpling dough. Mix all ingredients together. The milk measurement is a guess; just use enough to bring all the ingredients into a wet dough. Cover bowl with a towel until the soup has simmered at least 45 minutes.
After 45 mins, taste the soup for seasoning; if you like it, start dropping the dumplings in by the teaspoonful. If it needs more of something, add it. I must confess I added a spoonful of chicken soup base (similar to boullion) to amp up the flavor. If the water has boiled down too much, add more.
Let the dumplings boil for about 15 minutes. While they are cooking, make the green seasoning: put parsley, scallions, garlic, and lime juice into a mini chopper (or whatever device you use to blend small amounts of things) and blend away until everything is chopped finely together.
Test the dumplings–if they are ready, your soup is done! Spoon it out into bowls and top with a spoonful of green seasoning. The soup is delightfully rich and smoky, but the raw green seasoning adds the most wonderfully bright, fresh, tangy taste!