Chicken & Eggless Dumplings

by Caterina Borg, Good Food Gourmet on March 5, 2015

Chicken And Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.comSeveral years ago, there was a program on PBS called The 1940′s House. It was about a modern day family that was set up to live in a house during the 1940′s and particularly during the historical time of WWII. More than 300 families auditioned for the show and the producers had to ensure that the chosen family was able to conform to the standards of the 1940′s. The goal of the show was to try to keep it as authentic as possible and highlight the challenges that most families (especially women) had to endure during this difficult time. It also wanted to focus on this family’s ability to pull together during times of uncertainty, fear and deprivation.

The house where the show was filmed is located at 17 Braemar Gardens, West Wickam, Kent, in the UK. The house was retrofitted to reflect the technology and fashions of a middle-class English home of the late 1930s. It is a three-bedroom, semi detached home, fueled by a coal burning boiler to provide hot water and there was no telephone or refrigerator. Restoration included the removal of central heating and radiators, custom-fitted kitchen cabinets, appliances and the carpeting. When they removed the carpeting, they discovered the original art deco checkerboard floor tiles that were so popular during this era.  Several fireplaces were restored to working condition, and the original French doors which led to the outside patio were reinstalled. The home’s original paint was uncovered and revealed bright blues, pinks, and greens –even some 1940s-era floral wallpaper was purchased and reinstalled in some areas of the home. The house was decorated in a style typical of the 1930s, which included some used Victorian furniture and a small number of Art Deco pieces. When neighbors learned of the project, many donated period home furnishings for free. A 1930s-style gas-fired cooking stove, a belfast sink, draining board, metal-topped table, and fold-down work shelf were installed in the kitchen.The garden was also revamped to reflect more of a victory garden.

The family had to act like a typical family of the time, which included the sewing of blackout curtains, building an air raid shelter and confronting wartime food rationing. A special section was established in the rear of a local delicatessen where the family could shop for 1940s-era food. There were times when certain ingredient were needed in the household but not available — which mimicked real conditions and food rationing of the time. Air raids were simulated during the show, forcing the family to take refuge in its air-raid shelter. The near-nightly sound of the air-raid siren (fixed in a hallway in the home) left the family unnerved, even after they returned to their regular lives.The family had to stay in character all the time, including when the boys went to school. Period clothing (including underwear) were worn at all times. Even minor aspects of life (such as the depth of water in the bath tub, which could be no deeper than five inches) were regulated.

I loved the show and watched the series hoping it would continue with more families, but all in all only 5 episodes were filmed. In one of the episodes, the mother was required to bake a cake for some visiting guests, but the problem was that she could not find any eggs to use in the batter because of the rationing of ingredients. Instead, she used a little trick that women of this time came to depend on– a chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda that created light as air baked goods. When I decided to develop this recipe, I looked at what others were using and found many combinations of baking powder and milk or baking soda and buttermilk. I decided that I wanted to see what kind of results I would get if I used this egg less chemical reaction. If the recipe worked out well, it could be something that many people would be able to enjoy in many different applications– especially those who choose to limit dairy products in their diet.

The result?

The dumplings were exquisite– they were light, airy with a lovely soft texture that just melted in your mouth. In all honesty, it was hard to stop eating this dish and you don’t even miss the eggs or other dairy products that are suggested in other recipes. This little dumpling is everything you would want in this comforting dish…and maybe even more.

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings
3/4 stick butter
1/2 cup flour
3 cups cooked chicken, small cubes
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped green beans
6 cups chicken stock, warm
2 Maggi chicken bouillon cubes
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon dried parsley
NOTE: I used the vegetables that I had on hand, but feel to use corn or peas instead. Just make sure to use no more than 2 cups of vegetables.

Begin by making a roux by melting the butter in a medium sized stock pot and then adding the flour. Cook these together for a few minutes and then add the warm chicken stock and bouillon cubes. Use a whisk to incorporate the roux into the stock and then add your choice of vegetables and diced or shredded chicken. Taste for S&P- it should be OK for salt but add some black pepper.

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Cook this all together over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until you see it start to thicken slightly. At this point, drop in small spoonfuls of the dumpling batter all over the surface of the soup. You should get about 12 tablespoon size dumplings. First they will sink to the bottom, and as they cook, they will float to the top. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and put the lid on the pot. This will allow the dumplings to cook through completely, about 8-10 minutes depending on size. Remove one to test and make sure they have cooked through. Do not stir the soup once you have added the dumplings so as not to break them apart.

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Eggless Dumplings
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
large pinch pepper
1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons chicken stock

Before you begin making the roux for the soup, make sure to have all the ingredients for the dumplings measured out in a medium sized bowl, and set them aside. Once your soup has started thickening, add the chicken stock to your dumpling ingredients, stir the mixture well together and then spoon them over the top of the soup. This recipe should make about 12 tablespoon size dumplings.

Chicken & Eggless Dumplings, www.goodfoodgourmet.com

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment

Anti-Spam Quiz:

Previous post:

Next post: