PW’s new biweekly column, “Forking Stupid,” sees 25-year-old Nicole Finkbiner persuading professional chefs from Philadelphia’s great restaurants to please teach her, for the love of god, how to cook—one dish at a time. This week, Nicole visits Prohibition Taproom, where executive chef Jennifer Sherman helps her continue to develop her knife-wielding skills while they prep some hearty chicken and dumpling soup. You can follow along at home—here’s the recipe!
Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Serves 2-4 people (plus leftovers)
One 3- to 4-pound roaster chicken
2 carrots, small-diced
½ head of celery, small-diced
2 onions, small-diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
½ bunch flat leaf parsley, chopped
3 sprigs of thyme, chopped
1 sprig of rosemary, chopped
4 quarts chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups AP flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
¾ cup buttermilk
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg white
1. Turn oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken with salt and pepper and put in roasting pan. Roast in oven for one hour or until the juices run clear.
2. Take from oven and let it cool so it can be handled. Once the chicken is cool, remove the skin, pull all the meat off of the bones and shred with your hands. Set the meat aside; the bones can be used to make stock.
1. While the chicken is roasting, put a large pot on the stove, just-covering the bottom with vegetable oil, and turn to medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add onion, carrots and celery and stir. Keep stirring occasionally until onions are translucent and carrot and celery are soft.
2. Add in the garlic, thyme and rosemary and ¼ of the bunch of parsley, saving the rest for garnish. Stir and let flavors combine for 5 minutes.
3. Add all the chicken stock. Turn up to high heat until soup reaches a boil, then turn down to low and add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for 15 minutes, then add your pulled chicken and stir.
1. While the stock is coming to a boil, whisk together dry ingredients so they are well combined.
2. Add the buttermilk and melted butter, then fold in the egg white until just combined—do not over-stir.
Directions for Completion:
As the soup is simmering, drop rounded teaspoons of the dumpling batter into the pot—just enough of them to cover the surface of the soup. Cover and let simmer for 8 minutes so the dumplings cook through. Then you’re done: Get a large bowl, scoop out four dumplings into the bowl, ladle the soup over top, garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve!
This week’s PW features the debut of a new semi-regular series: “Cooking 101,” which sees 25-year-old Nicole Finkbiner persuading professional chefs from Philadelphia’s great restaurants to please teach her, for the love of god, how to cook—one dish at a time. She starts with Joe Cicala of Le Virtu:
JOE: So what do you like to eat?
JOE: What kind of pasta do you make at home?
ME: Is that a trick question? The kind that comes in a box.
Cicala convinces Nicole to expand her horizons and make a simple but tasty dish that takes full advantage of fresh pasta. And you can too! Here’s the recipe:
Pasta con le zucche
(serves 2-4 people)
Homemade pasta (optional—or buy fresh pasta)
3 large eggs
2 cups double zero or AP flour
1 pinch of salt
1. Make a “well” of flour; add eggs to center.
2. Mix eggs, incorporating outside rim of flour until homogenous.
3. Knead dough for 5 minutes until smooth.
4. Let rest for 1-2 hours until soft/pliable.
5. Pass through pasta machine until desired thickness.
6. Cut into obtuse quadrilaterals.
4 baby green zucchini (sliced thin)
6 zucchini flours (pistils removed)
1.5 oz. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic sliced
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
1. In a cold 12-inch skillet, add olive oil and garlic.
2. Turn heat to high and “toast” garlic in oil.
3. Add sliced zucchini and sauté for about a minute.
4. Add 4 oz. of pasta water to stop cooking process. (Make sure to take pan off the fire when adding water.)
5. Bring to a simmer to cook zucchini through.
6. Drop pasta in boiling salted water. When pasta floats (about 3 minutes), give it an additional minute.
7. Remove pasta from water and add to sauce. Add cheese. Toss.