Hungarian Dumplings AKA Spaetzle
|Chicken and Hungarian Dumplings|
I might be missing the finer points between which is which, a Hungarian dumpling and a German spaetzle dumpling. I'm sure someone could enlighten me, but being a woman in the middle of Ohio, I'm going to blur the line between the two.
Frankly, this post is really a way to capture the recipe that I'm always digging through cookbooks to find. I'm going plead lazy ignorance again: I don't really know what happened to the PBS TV cookery show host, Jeff Smith, and I really don't care to know; I treasure his cook books. I have 6 of them on my shelf and I can never remember which one has this recipe.
As I recall it was scandalous but non the less his recipes work and his prose spoke to me when I was first learning my cooking craft. I think it's perfectly acceptable to love him. May he rest in peace.
This comes from this book The Frugal Gourmet.
Skinny Easy Spaetzle
Makes enough for 6 people
2 tablespoons oil or melted butter, or melted lard according to Mr. Smith
.5 cup milk
.5 cup water
2.5 cups flour
2.5 teaspoons salt (don't skimp!)
.25 teaspoon baking powder
4 quarts of boiling water or a pot of simmering chicken soup
2 tablespoons butter, to saute the dumplings (optional)
About 30 minutes before serving combine the ingredients in a bowl. Mix by hand until well combined. It will be a sticky, stringy mass. Cover and sit on the counter 15 to 20 minutes.
In the meanwhile bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a bit of salt. I use a food mill with the largest holed plate. You can use a spaetzle maker too. Put the dumpling dough in the contraption, while holding it over a pot and actuate the tool. Bits of stringy dough will drop into the pot forming dumpling. Stir to cover with liquid and allow them to simmer 5 minutes. Strain and saute in butter.
Or if making them directly into soup, drop directly into the broth, stir and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
My chicken and dumplings pictured above:
3 chicken legs and thighs
4 quarts water
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2 celery stalks, cut into 3 inch pieces
2 carrots, cut into 3 inch pieces
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Bring to a simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pot. Cool, remove the meat and skin from the bone. Discard the skin, reserve the meat and put the bones back into the pot to simmer as long as possible- 1 to 6 hours.
Strain the broth and set aside. In the dirty pot:
1 large onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
3 carrots, peeled and cut
1 teaspoon oil
sage and thyme
salt, if needed
Saute the onions, celery and carrots in the oil. Drop in the strained broth, sage, thyme and taste for salt. Simmer until the carrots are soft.
Make the dumpling mixture. Once the dumplings are done add the reserved chicken plus
2 cups peas
You can make chicken and noodles by omitting the dumplings and adding 6 ounces of kluski or egg noodles instead. Give them 35 minutes or so to cook. Then add the chicken and peas.
This is the most comforting of the comfort foods I make. What is yours?