If I told you this was my hangover food you would either think I am lying or that I need to be sectioned.
I can’t argue with the latter but I cannot agree with the former.
This is the meal I made for myself when I was wallowing in the fiery pits of my hangover followed the Wales v Scotland match this past Saturday. Now the context of this recipe may be a shining example of my determination for good food but in reality, it’s the pinnacle of my laziness.
If I had to sum up my laziness, selfishness but also my resourcefulness in a recipe, this would be it.
The laziness in part due to the fact that I had not done a food shop so this recipe is a gathering of leftovers. The selfishness due to the fact I stole chicken from the dog to make it. Resourcefulness because I had the good sense a month ago to freeze some dough so dumplings were at my wherewithal.
SIDE NOTE – no I didn’t use dog food for this. I buy chicken thighs every month and roast them up, chop them up and mix it in with Waffle’s dry food. And no I don’t bloody season it – he’s not THAT spoiled. But the chicken thighs were right there… so I took them.
Yes this recipe is slightly cheating because I had the dumpling dough already frozen and ready go, but let’s pretend you’re making this hangover free. The dough is an absolute breeze to make and the rest is history.
It’s that feel-good food your mother would make for you. Whenever my mother made stew I used to beg for dumplings, which she would make by the suitcase load and fill up her pots of lamb stew with. A stew is just not complete without a dumpling.
However, I didn’t have the nerve to call this a stew. My fridge was begging for attention and had absolutely nothing in it but gherkins and good will, so this recipe is more… of a broth.
I hate that word, but there you go.
Start by making your dumpling dough.
Combine 100g of plain flour with 100g of natural yogurt but don’t mix just yet. Throw whatever herbs you want. It’s easier to throw the herbs in before you mix together so that the herbs can be run through the ingredients and be embedded in the dough, instead of just tacked on the outside.
My herbs was a handful of parsley, some leftover rosemary needs I finely chopped and a small pinch of thyme. Scatter in some salt, pepper and a little lemon zest and mix to create a ball.
Once it forms a ball, lightly flour a work surface and dump the ball on the flour. Knead it using the pads of your palms until it begins to become elasticated and you can pull it without it breaking. Don’t knead it too much though otherwise your balls will be tough. Giggidy.
Now separate the dough in half. Separate the halves in quarters. Keep separating each mound until you have a few handfuls of little dough pieces. Using two floured hands, roll these into little tight balls.
Place them on a floured plate and shove them in the fridge while you make the broth.
Bring a kettle to the boil and pour the water in a big pan. With the water bubbling, add some salt, a few bay leaves, some peppercorns, three cloves of garlic, an onion (literally just quartered, not peeled) and two chicken thighs.
Bring the water back up to a boil, drop it to a moderate simmer and leave to bubble away for about 30-40 minutes.
When the chicken is cooked (use a meat thermometer if you’re not 100% sure) take out of the broth and on to a chopping board to cool slightly.
Place a sieve over a big jug and drain the broth. Throw away the onion, garlic, bay nonsense and return the broth back to the pan. Put on a medium heat.
Now shred your chicken using two forks. Just hack away at it, discarding the bones until you have a few handfuls of chicken meat. Salt the meat on the board and toss it up.
When the water starts to bubble, add a dash of soy sauce and a big handful of frozen peas.
Now start adding in your dumplings one by one and give everything a little stir. Add your chicken back to the pot and give everything another stir.
Once the dumplings rise, you’re ready to ladle generous helpings into bowls.
This recipe is totally permissive by the way. You could totally add in some spinach, some noodles, some carrots, a generous curling of parmesan – go nuts. Even if you can’t be arsed for the dumplings, just throw some potatoes in before the shredded chicken!