Thursday, April 19, 2012

Soul Food

I was part of a conversation a few weeks ago that I found to be rather humorous.  A young lady told her mom she was really needing some "soul food" for dinner that week.  Her mom smiled her agreement and I chimed in how some good ol' fashioned chicken and dumplings sounded divine.  The young lady gave me a blank stare.  So I proceeded to describe the hearty and flavorful soup that sits in a crock pot all day, the puffy and cheesy dumplings that cook on top, and the aroma that takes you back to your happy place.  The mom once again smiled her agreement.  The young lady started laughing.  She said, "That's not soul food!  Soul food is a huge pizza!"


That's when I gave the young lady a blank stare.  Pizza!?  PIZZA!  I love pizza, but pizza as soul food?  I think not!  Maybe that sweet young thang just needs to get out more.  Or maybe she needs to come to my house for dinner tonight, because tonight we are having REAL SOUL FOOD!

serves 4 {large helpings}

Prep: 25 minutes
Cook: 4-6 hours on High + 25 minutes on High for Dumplings

Ingredients for Soup:
2 c chopped carrots
2 c chopped potatoes
1 1/2 c chopped parsnips {or celery if parsnips aren't your thing}
half medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried sage or savory
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 c chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp cornstarch {adjust according to how thick you like your broth}

Ingredients for Dumplings:
1/2 c flour
1/3 c cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp butter
I usually double my dumplings...they're just that good.

Set a crock pot to high heat then prep vegetables - place potatoes at the bottom of the pot, then carrots, parsnips/celery, onion, garlic, bay leaves, sage/savory, salt, and pepper.  Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.  In a medium bowl gradually whisk the chicken broth into the condensed soup.  Pour broth mixture over chicken.  Cover and cook for 4-6 hours.

Stir the soup and remove bay leaves.  In a small bowl combine water and cornstarch; stir into soup until combined.

For dumplings, 25 minutes before serving, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and cheese.  In a small bowl combine egg, milk, and melted butter; pour into flour mixture.  Stir with a fork until mixture is combined.  Drop spoonfuls of dough directly on top of the soup.

Cover and cook {do not open cover during cooking} for 23-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into dumpling comes out clean.


1 comment: