Thursday, January 31, 2019

Hen and Dumplings

For stewing the hen and broth:
1 (3-4 pound) chicken
3 quarts cold water
3 medium carrots, peeled
3 celery stalks
1 small onion, halved
1 head garlic, halved crosswise, plus 1 clove grated
2 bay leaves
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1-1/4  cups dry white wine
1 large leek, white & green parts cut into medium dice and washed; green top washed and reserved
1 cup torn herbs, like parsley, dill, chervil, chives, for garnish

For dumplings: 
1 slice white bread, crust removed and bread torn into small pieces
1/4 cup stock
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup finely diced shallots
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
6 ounces ground veal or chicken
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sliced chives
zest of 1 lemon

1. In a 6-quart stockpot, combine chicken with cold water.  Bring to simmer over high heat.  Begin to skim away any fat or scum from surface.  Add one carrot, one celery stalk, onion, split garlic head, bay leaves, 1 tablespoon salt, peppercorns and 1 cup wine.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until chicken is tender, 2-1/2 - 3 hours.

2.  Transfer chicken to cutting board.  When cool enough to handle, remove skin and meat.  Return bones to the pot.  Simmer, uncovered, 1-1/2-2 hours and add leek tops for last 30 minutes.

3.  While stock simmers, prepare dumplings.  Heat oven to 450 degrees. Soak bread in 1/4 cup chicken stock for 5 minutes, squeeze out excess.  Melt 3 tablespoons butter in large, oven-proof pan over medium heat.  Add shallots, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper and saute 7-8 minutes.  Meanwhile, mince soaked bread and about 10 ounces of the reserved chicken meat and skin. In a bowl combine, minced bread/chicken mixture with ground veal or chicken, eggs, chives, lemon zest and 1/2 tsp salt.  Add shallots.  Form into golf-ball sized dumplings and refrigerate 1 hour.

4.  Heat pan used for shallots over medium heat and add remaining butter.  Gently add dumplings to skillet and let cook, undisturbed until browned, 5 minutes.  Use soup spoons to gently flip dumplings.  Transfer skillet to oven and bake 12-15 minutes until firm, basting dumplings with butter form pan midway through cooking.

5.  Pour stock through a fine-mesh strainer.  (You should have about 2 quarts. Top with water if necessary.)  Discard vegetables and bones.  Chop remaining leeks, carrots and celery into bite-size pieces.  Return stock to simmer and add chopped vegetables and remaining wine.  Simmer until just soft, about 4 minutes. Add herbs and remove pot from heat. Divide dumplings among 4-5 bowls and ladle soup over top.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Omelet Roll-ups

These little rolls are filled with flakes of smoked salmon and cream cheese but easily substitute, cooked spinach, ham and/or cheese.

4 eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup flaked smoked salmon
1 tablespoon chopped chives or dill
1/4 cup cream cheese
ground pepper

1.  Beat the eggs in a bowl and season with pepper.

2.  Heat half of oil in a small omelet pan and pour in half of the beaten eggs.

3.  Swirl the eggs around the pan until the base of the omelet is lightly set.  Push the set parts into the uncooked center and continue cooking until completely set and lightly golden on the underside.

4.  Flip the omelet and brown the other side for a few seconds. Turn out onto a cutting board.  Repeat with remaining eggs to make a second omelet.

5.  Mix together the salmon and cream cheese and season with pepper.  Spread mixture on one side of each omelet, leaving edges clear.

6.  Roll-up each omelet tightly and cut across into slices.  Sprinkle with herbs.  Serve warm or cold.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Whole Roast Chicken

A basic roast chicken recipe can be most useful to have on hand.  A roast chicken is a meal on it's own or the start of any recipe that calls for cooked chicken.  

2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs, such as sage, rosemary, thyme
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 tsp ground pepper
1 4- to 5-pound organic chicken
1 small lemon, halved crosswise
1 medium head of garlic, halved crosswise
3 medium carrots, cut into 3-inch pieces
3 stalks of celery, cut into 3-inch pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced

1. Position rack in the bottom third of oven; preheat to 375 degrees.

2.  Combine butter, 1 tablespoon herbs, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Loosen the skin from the breasts with your fingers and spread butter mixture under it.  Place the lemon and garlic in the cavity.  Tie the legs together with kitchen string.  Place carrots, celery, and onion in a large broiler-safe pot.  Put chicken breast-side up on top of vegetables and put the lid on. 

3.  Roast the chicken for 1 hour.  Increase oven temperature to broil.  Uncover and broil until golden brown, about 6 to 10 minutes.  A thermometer inserted in a thigh without touching bone should register 165 degrees.  

4.  Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.  Serve sprinkled with remaining herbs and 1/2 tsp of salt.