baby it’s cold outside
Salt and Pepper.
Peanut Butter and Jelly.
Bread and Butter.
Wine and Cheese.
Milk and Cookies.
Gin and Tonic.
Winter and Soup.
They are made for each other! Each is a perfect match made in heaven.
Chicken and Dumpling Soup
1 purchased rotisserie chicken
8 cups purchased chicken broth
1/2 cup finely diced carrots
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1 large onion, peeled and diced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup apple cider
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 bunch fresh kale
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Chicken Soup: Remove all visible skin and fat from the chicken and discard. Pull the meat off the bones, and set aside. Save the bottom half of the container the chicken came in, you will be using the juices and drippings found there.
Place the bones and carcass in a large pot and cover with the 8 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes to enrich the purchased broth with the bones from the rotisserie chicken. Strain, discard the carcass and bones, set aside the enriched broth.
Shred the chicken, measure out 4 cups of shredded chicken, save any remaining for another meal or for sandwiches.
In the same pot that the broth was simmered in, pour the juices and drippings from the rotisserie chicken packaging.
Place over medium heat and add the olive oil, once hot add the diced carrots, celery, and onion. Season with salt and pepper and stir, cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat.
Stir in thyme and then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add the shredded chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the kale for the dumplings: Strip the leafy parts of the kale from the tough stems, discard the stems.
Chop enough of the leaves to make 1 cup of finely chopped kale. This is all you will need for the dumplings. The remaining kale may either be thinly sliced and added to the soup or reserved for another meal.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the finely diced kale to the boiling water and immediately, remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. This quick blanching will soften the leaves and make them a bright green. Blot with another paper towel to dry as much as possible. Set aside.
Make the dough for the dumplings: whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt to combine.
Whisk in the blanched diced kale to distribute evenly throughout the dry ingredients.
Then add buttermilk, stirring gently to just combine.
Soup: Add the half-and-half into the pot of soup and stir to combine.
Drop teaspoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot.
(The above photo shows me using a tablespoon for the dough; please use a teaspoon instead. I found that the tablespoon-size dumplings are too big, as you will see in the photo below, of them floating in the broth.)
Cover the pot partially and continue to simmer for 12 to 15 minutes to fully cook the dumplings.
Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow soup to sit for 5 minutes before serving.