Step 1: A beverage !
Today it’s home made red !.. I’m not sure what type, it’s either Merlot or Shiraz, my organizational skills are not good… and memory only gets me so far… but.. it’s red.. and it’s pretty good.. and 1$ a bottle so. hell yeah !.
Next, pick a chicken !.. preferably a fresh un-frozen one, below is a 1.7 Kg bird from the local ” Old Time Meat Market ” in Riverview.
Incidentally, after buying this bird, i got home and unpacked the groceries, about an hour later it occurred to me that it was missing, hmm.. i checked the cupboards and the freezer in case..i do that sometimes.. but nope.. not there.. so i call up my neighbors to ask if i left it in their car … ” uh.. no .. it’s not here ” …. well.. after a triple check of the kitchen and a 2nd phone call, we found it under the driver’s seat !!.. imagine the foul stench that could have made after a few days in the hot sun… phew..
Usually, i buy a whole pre-cut up chicken, a bit less work, but this week there were none on the shelf so i managed to hack it up myself.
So then, after cutting it up into pieces, rinse/wash a few times, then fill the pot with about half way with water… as long as you got enough water to cover the chicken pieces… You will need the extra room by the end of this, so use a big enough pot !
Add palm full of salt… I don’t measure.. always best to error on the less side of things, it’s easier to add salt later to taste…
Some fresh ground black pepper. I used to buy pre-ground black pepper for the salt/pepper shaker but after using the fresh ground stuff for a while, i’ll never go back.
A chunk of onion ( in this case, a Spanish onion ) ..
Now, i like the taste of onions, but am not a fan of the texture, a fricot is not right without it… so what i like to do is blend it with a bit of water and pour it all into the mix… all the taste, without the pieces !
Some finely crushed Summer Savory Leaves.
Get this up to a slow boil for about an hour… while you finish that beverage… or get into a second one.. i won’t judge.
Alrighty.. so once the chicken boils long enough to start falling off the bone, scoop it out and let it cool but KEEP THE BROTH !!!…. usually about an hour.
Turn the heat down to Low at this point, while preparing the potatoes and let the chicken cool.
If you were in a hurry, the potatoes could have been peeled and cut while the chicken was boiling, but what’s the rush? good food can sometimes take time and this is one of those times !
At this point the house smells amazing, instead of bicycle tires and battery solvent.
I like Russet potatoes, used most of a 5 Lb bag.
Peel and rinse well, cut into 1/2 inch thick pucks ( yeah, it’s a Canadian thing )
Then, cube them up.. but do not rinse or discard the potato juice, pour the whole thing into the broth…. adds flavor.
Next up, Carrots. peel, slice.. add.
Once the chicken cools enough to handle, clean it up, i remove all bones, skin, etc.. lots of fat already in the broth no need to add more..
Last part are called in french ” Pates ” aka : Dumplings !
I used to mess this up all the time but lately i get it right, flour, some salt and magic powder aka : baking power.. ( as seen above )!
Add a bit of water and mix it up until it looks like this
Spoon off a chunk at a time and remember they will swell to double their size while cooking.. so don’t make them too big… about the size of your potato cubes is perfect.
Let them float and cook for at least 20 minutes before you even try to stir… once cooked they keep their shape and toughen up.
With a slice of buttered bread to dunk, this is a 20$ batch that will make 6 to 7 good meals !
Just like mom used to make.. . well.. almost…