Food vs. Amy. Food wins.
Notice the relative silence around here this week? It seems I should’ve been careful what I wish for on the “food coma” bit last week. Since late Friday I’ve been battling a nasty case of food poisoning. It cut our weekend in Wisconsin short and meant I spent most of Saturday and Sunday flat in bed. I’ll withhold the details except to say I nursed my tummy by watching Captain Jack Sparrow. Pirates always cheer me up.
Through the ordeal, I just kept thinking Seriously? On the one weekend where I set aside the trusty locavore diet for a smorgasbord of food and family (2 full Thanksgiving dinners plus a restaurant meal, served with a side of junk food on the road) my body really winds up paying for it. Seriously? Somewhere a local foodie is saying, “you of all people should know better.” I have some hunches about what the culprit was, but with the variety of dishes I had Thursday and Friday it’s hard to be certain.
What I am sure about in times of stomach troubles is my fond affection for chicken soup. It was the first thing I wanted to try Saturday afternoon and one of the few appetizing things I feel like eating now. Tender boiled chicken in homemade broth with fluffy dumplings. Much easier to dial down the sodium and spices than any canned soup. Â Much easier on a cautious tummy.
Food borne illness or not, here’s the steps to try my favorite local chicken dumpling soup:
1 small boiler fryer chicken, 4-5 lbs. (can be frozen or thawed, will just change cooking time)
6 C. water
1 bay leaf
1-2 Tbsp. spices (salt, pepper, parsley, thyme, oregano, etc.) Use whatever you like to taste. On the first days of an upset stomach, I keep it very light and season the leftovers as things improve.
1 1/2 C. onion, chopped
1 C. carrots, chopped
For the Dumplings
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 C. whole wheat bread flour
1 C. skim milk
2 tsp. salt (optional)
1. Place chicken in a large stock pot with water and spices. Bring to a boil and cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165Â° and juices run clear. Â Cooking time for a fresh chicken is about 35-45 minutes, for a frozen chicken 75-90 minutes. Â Remove from heat and allow chicken and stock to cool slightly.
2. Â Remove chicken from pot and transfer to a cutting board. Leave the stock in the pot to continue cooling. Â Gently remove chicken from the bone, shredding into large 1-2″ pieces. Â Skim any fat from the top of the stock before, adding carrots, onion and chicken back into the stock. Â Bring to a simmer.
3. Â While stock is coming to a boil,Â combine flours, eggs and milk in a small mixing bowl. Mix with a fork until dough is evenly moist (it will be sticky!). Set aside and allow to rest for 4-5 minutes. When stock is simmering, drop small spoonfuls of dough into the pot. Â When all dumplings are in the pot, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and cook 12-15 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. (Dough will be firm but not sticky on the inside).
P.S. Â It may be a few days before I’m back ferociously in the kitchen, and trust me it wont involve turkey or mashed potato leftovers. In the meantime, check out what the other Minnesota Food Bloggers are doing with their Thanksgiving surplus. It’s the best blogroll around:Â http://www.mnfoodbloggers.com/