There are things that I hate about my house: the window trim that needs replaced, the gutters, the pesky mortgage. And then there are the things that I love: the yard, the wood floors, the gigantic kitchen.
When I first moved into my house, my friend Laddan would come over and help me use the kitchen. My home is no different than any other dwelling throughout history and all over the world: where the food is made is where the action is. In these winter visits, I learned from Laddan.
1. It’s okay to drink buttermilk, with a little salt added. (I still haven’t tried this.)
2. Hot sauce is a must-have. I actually ended up buying a small jar of Frank’s Red Hot, for the sole purpose of Laddan’s visits.
3. The secret healing ingredient in Chicken Noodle Soup is the lemon.
Be Forewarned: The recipe below is not really Laddan’s Chicken Noodle Soup recipe. For one, it’s not soup. And, of course, it’s missing the noodles. But it includes Laddan’s lemon and the basics of a traditional chicken noodle soup.
One of the many bonuses of my job is that I frequently get to try new products that come into the store. Last week, I scored four samples of Hungarian Homemade Noodles from Toledo, one of them being dumplings. I decided to adapt a classic Chicken Noodle Soup recipe to make something I’ve never tried before: Chicken & Dumplings.
The recipe is simple, and perfect for a winter Sunday. The only thing that’s missing is, perhaps, Laddan.
1 whole chicken
1 stick of unsalted butter, softened
fresh thyme, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 carrot, cut into pieces
3 ribs of celery, cut into pieces
1 onion, diced
juice of one lemon
2 cups of chicken stock
1 bag of Hungarian Homemade Dumplings from Toledo
salt and pepper, to taste
several dashes of hot sauce
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine the garlic, thyme and rosemary with the butter. Rub the mixture between the skin and the chicken. (This keeps the flavors in the chicken, rather than on top of the skin.)
3. Place the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes per pound, plus an additional 20 minutes. (If your chicken is 4 pounds, you will bake it for 100 minutes.) When finished, remove from oven and let sit until cool enough to touch. Pull the chicken from the bones. Set aside the fat, skin and bones to make a stock for future use.
4. Add the celery, carrot, orange zest, lemon juice and stock to the chicken mixture. Turn on low and add the dumplings. Stir occasionally until the dumplings are plump, about thirty minutes. Add salt, pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Follow up with a glass of buttermilk with salt, if you’re brave.