If my last week were depicted visually, it just might look like burnt bread and spilled milk. Mistakes. Failures (kitchen and otherwise). Disappointments. Wasted time. Relational blunders. Emotional meltdowns. All things I want to shove under the rug or toss in the trash. Only in real life, I tend to do more than shove things under the rug. I run. I quit. Burnt bread? Metaphorically speaking, I think – I’m not a baker. I’ll never be a baker. Time to move on. Spilled milk? I think – I can’t keep it together.
The reality is, there will always be burnt bread and spilled milk. That’s just life but I have to remind myself over and over. It’s not the end of the world – get up and begin again.
Anyways, yesterday my sister gave me her recipe for Chicken Stew with Austrian Dumplings. It was just what I needed to restore confidence in myself, and perfect for yet another cold wintry day. My gram used to make this and I can just hear her calling over to our house, “I made chicken stew.” Nothing could keep us from running across the field and enjoying a bowl of this oh-so comforting stew. Being a little gravy illiterate, I’ve struggled with this recipe in the past (actually I never had the recipe written down). It always seemed like a 2-day project – one to cook the chicken and stock; one to make the stew). My brilliant little sister came up with a much easier version that tastes exactly like Gram’s did. The dumplings are filling enough that you don’t even need bread to make this a complete meal. This is the perfect comfort food for these mid-winter days, and goes along way towards helping me get past the burnt bread and spilled milk!
Chicken Stew with Austrian Dumplings
chicken parts (I use thighs) – about 10-12 or a whole roasting chicken
1 – 26 oz. can cream of chicken soup
4 cups chicken broth (from cooking the chicken or 1 – 32 oz. carton )
1/4 c. flour
3-4 stalks celery
1 large onion
Boil chicken parts in water until chicken is well cooked. Set aside chicken to cool. Save broth. In another large pot, mix can of cream of chicken soup with approx 3 cups of chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Add in chopped celery, onion, carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper. Simmer until tender.
Pull cooled chicken off the bone, cut into small pieces. Set aside.
Add a approx 1/4 cup flour to about 1 cup of chicken broth. Mix well. Add to stew mixture, bring to boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes. Fold in chicken and dumplings.
1/2 c Butter, softened
2 eggs, separated
3/4 c Flour
1/4 ts Salt
Beat egg whites until stiff; set aside. Cream butter until soft and beat in egg yolks; gradually stir in flour, seasoning and stiffly beaten egg whites. Drop by teaspoon into boiling salted water and simmer, covered, about 5 minutes; do not let dumplings boil. Gently scoop out of water w/ slotted spoon. Makes 1 1/2 doz.