Chicken soup for the pseudo-holiday weekend

Chicken and slickers

It has not been a smooth post-holiday re-entry for me this year. Not only did I take a whole week off, I spent the last eight days in a mostly computer-free paradise (which means I’m still finishing all my posts wrapping up 2012, stay tuned!). It was good. Maybe too good. Instead of my usual triumphant march home, this time, I quietly slunk back into Los Angeles, where I’ve been actively avoiding my official reunion with the real world.

Luckily, this well-timed pseudo-holiday extra-bonus weekend provided a cushy landing before I have to get serious about 2013. So of course I woke up in the mood for the ultimate comfort food, something that could slowly nurse me and my lagging brain into the new year. This was one of the best dishes I ate in 2012: my mom’s Chicken and Slickers, which is like Chicken and Dumplings except this version is from the South so you know it’s way better. Her recipe, with my additions and improvisations, is below. 2013 is looking better already.

Chicken and “Slickers”
Slickers or slippery dumplings are a regional variation on the traditional dumplings found in soups. These are flatter, chewier, and a bit more noodle-like.

Broth
3 32-oz boxes chicken stock
1 rotisserie chicken (I roasted my own fresh chicken using this recipe)
3 tbs Better Than Bouillon (or regular bouillon, but this stuff is great)
1 stick butter (I know. But it is the South. You can leave it out if you want.)

Simmer rotisserie chicken in stock for 30 minutes (since I roasted my own chicken, I also put all the veggies I roasted in with it). Remove chicken and debone, reserving all the meat, which you’ll set aside for now. Strain the stock, add Better Than Bouillon and one stick of butter.

Dumplings
1/2 cup of the broth you just made
1 cup of milk
2 eggs
3 cups of flour (You want a sticky dough because you’ll add more flour when you roll out the dough. You’ll definitely need more flour, so keep it handy.)

Whisk wet ingredients together and stir in flour a cup at a time. It will be very sticky. Knead the dough on a floured board (or even a parchment paper-covered counter), adding flour as needed until it comes together, but is still sticky. Dust with flour, roll out to 1/8-inch thick and cut into 1 x 2 inch strips (I cut mine with scissors).

Bring broth to boil. Drop dumplings into boiling broth and cook and for 15 minutes. (I needed to add more boxed stock to make room for my dumplings. That’s okay.) Add chicken and cook 30 minutes more. Stir to keep dumplings from sticking when added.

Season with salt and pepper to taste (although mine definitely didn’t need any salt).

Enjoy your suddenly-quite-happy new year.

Making dumplings (or slickers, as they call them in the south)

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