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I love the holidays and I’m one of those crazy people who actually likes hosting holiday dinner parties. As a hostess, I always want everyone in my company to feel special and I take great pride in the food that I serve. I try to show my guest love though my cooking, so when I’m preparing a party menu I try to choose dishes that everyone around the table will enjoy. I also like to show at bit of creativity or add an element of surprise to my cooking. A unique flavor or texture. A perfect example is a dish I created this year that I will be serving at a party I’m hosting next week to kick-off the holidays.
I absolutely love the broth of Mexican Fava Bean Soup but I’m not a huge fan of the Fava Beans. I had a stroke of genius (well, I think it is brilliant) to replace the fava beans with dumplings and add chicken. To quote Guy Fieri, “Welcome to Flavortown.”
Let me introduce you to Chicken and Chipotle Pepper Dumpling Soup. The flavors in the soup are layered upon each other. A soft saffron broth is spiced up by dense smokey chipotle dumplings and the fresh cilantro cools the heat. The chicken gives the soup a hearty depth. And looking at the gold, red and green soup will put in you in the holiday spirit. Because I love my guests and want to feed them the highest quality food that I can make, I take great care in choosing my ingredients. I really value La Morena products and enjoy using their chipotle peppers in adobo sauce because they are all natural and preservative free. I also use Maseca® Corn Flour because it has the best corn flavor of any corn flour I have tried. I also like the grind and density for making tortillas or in this case, dumplings. By using great ingredients I get the best flavors in my dishes. Using great products is just worth it.
Chicken and Chipotle Pepper Dumpling Soup
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce preferably La Morena
- 1 cup of Corn Flour preferably Maseca®
- 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads crumbled
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 small onion diced
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 bone in chicken thighs
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
In a medium pot, place chicken and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-18 minutes or until chicken reaches 160 degrees in the center.
In another pot, add 6 cups of chicken broth, onion, garlic, cumin, saffron, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes.
While the chicken is poaching and the broth is simmering make the dumplings. Chop one can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Mix pepper with 1 cup of corn flour until combined. Roll into small 1/2 inch balls. Set aside.
Remove chicken from water. Do not drain water, reserve water in pot. Set chicken in a heatproof dish and let cool.
In the same pot you cooked the chicken, bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Gently place the dumplings into pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
While dumpling are cooking. Debone chicken and dice. Strain chicken broth and reserve stock.
In a fresh pot, combine stock, chicken and dumplings. Add cilantro. Bring to simmer and serve hot.
I have to be honest, this recipe it a bit of work. Here are few tips to create your own great batch of soup.
1. Be sure to cook your broth separately and then strain it before combining it with the chicken and the dumplings. Unless you like a lot of onion, it will be overpowering if you don’t remove it from the broth.
2. When dicing the chipotle peppers it can get a bit messy, do it in small batches.
3. The key to great tasting dumplings is to make sure the peppers are well combined with the corn flour.
4. When you are forming the dumplings into little balls, make them as compact as you can. If they are not tightly formed they will fall apart. Loosely formed dumplings will create Chipotle Chicken Stew, which is tasty too, but not soup.
5. Go to a store like Pete’s Fresh Markets where finding ethnic products is easy. Note, when shopping for the peppers they were a bit difficult to find. They were nestled in the canned beans isle (isle 9 if you go the Pete’s on Madison and Western in Chicago). The corn flour, not as difficult, it was as expected in the baking isle (isle 6 to be exact).
6. Most importantly enjoy with family and friends.
What special food will you enjoy with family and friends over the holidays? Check out the La Morena site for more spicy recipes to share with loved one this holiday season.