Cocklebur Junction Butter Dumplings

3 Nov

After I type that I’ve decided it could be a new nickname for someone in my life. I already have my butter bean Bailey and my lucky ducky Dally. The kiddos have an Aunt Boo and an Uncle Hitch. I’m feeling really Southern and sentimental, so I guess a good name for the Cowboy would be Butter Dumplings.

I’m going to guess that he’s not going to like that too much.

But I have swayed him over my side when it comes to eating Chicken and Butter Dumplings.

It’s not your traditional country-style Chicken and Dumplings, which can be made out of anything, even just flour and water. Butter Dumplings are light and fluffy, floating in a well-seasoned Chicken soup. I’ve never seen anything like them out there. I adore them. Nothing heavy, but packed with a ton of flavor. The original recipe comes from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything, which ranks right up there with Joy of Cooking for me. But of course, I’ve tweaked the recipe to make it my own.

You start with your Chicken stock. I generally don’t add my meat back into the soup until the dumplings are finished. For 4 servings, you need approximately 6 cups of chicken stock. Heat the stock until it is gently simmering.

I take 4 Tablespoons of butter and put it in the microwave for a few seconds on low until it is softened. If you have more foresight than I do, just set it on your counter for a while to soften. The idea is that the butter is nice and creamy soft.

Take the back of your fork and cream the butter until there are no lumps in it at all. Beat 2 eggs into the butter. Get it all nice and smooth.

Grate…and yes, I said grate, as in with a grater….an onion until you have 1/4 cup of grated onion.

You are probably going to cry a bit. It can be torture. That’s why there are no pictures of this process. Tears were running down my face from the ultra strong onion I was trying to grate.

Just keep saying “Butter dumplings, butter dumplings, butter dumplings.”

Add the onion to the butter and eggs. Stir in 1/2 cup flour and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Stir until well blended. You want a soft batter. You can stir in a Tablespoon of heated stock if you need. The consistency is like a muffin batter, a little thicker than a pourable cake batter, but much looser than a biscuit dough.

Drop about a teaspoon of batter into the stock at a time. Cook until set and cooked through. This is impossible to tell. I hate how cookbooks say that. Give it 10 minutes. They should be done. Take one out and blow on it, blow on it, try it. Try not to curse in front of the kiddos when you burn your mouth. Wait a few more seconds. Try it again. Decide it was worth burning your mouth.

Taste your soup and see if you like the seasonings. Add more salt or pepper, if needed. I often add about 1/2 cup of milk — it adds a creaminess that actually boosts the flavors. Or if the kiddos are really so ready to eat they can’t handle it any longer, I just dish the soup up and add the cold milk to each of their bowls. This cools the soup down quickly. Enjoy!

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2 Responses to “Cocklebur Junction Butter Dumplings”

  1. Ally November 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    I’ve been waiting to read this since I read about the soup yesterday. I’m here to tell you that you should write a cook book. Seriously. Great recipes that make you laugh out loud as you cook!!

    Can’t wait to try them.

  2. Kelly November 4, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    This sounds delish and I bet these would work well in a veggie broth too. I love the name Butter Dumpling! My next dog may very well be Butter Dumpling.

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