My close friend Lorraine, hails from the beautiful island of Jamaica. She is responsible for introducing me to Jamaican food. In my previous work life, we used to frequent a little Jamaican restaurant for lunch, called Natraliart. To the locals, this place is known as Juicy. This is where I had my first Jamaican Chicken soup with dumplings. Being in the mood for that soup, but not wanting to drive 40 minutes into town, I called up my friend, and got the recipe for authentic Jamaican Chicken soup with Dumplings.
You will need a Kabocha squash. This squash is in the pumpkin family of squashes. Some folks have used butternut squash. Butternut squash is too sweet for this recipe.
Cut the squash into half or quarter it. This is a very hard squash to cut. You will need a good large knife and some strength.
Remove the seeds
Carefully cut away the skin.
Cut the squash in equal size pieces, and set aside.
Take 6 chicken thighs and brown lightly in a little bit of canola oil or safflower oil.
Add 8 cups of water and the squash.
Let this come to a boil and cook for 20 – 30 minutes. The Kabocha squash will break down, and the broth will take on the color of the squash.
Slice an onion
Add onion to the pot
Peel and cut a Russet potato in even size pieces and add to the soup. If you like turnips or chayote, you can add that along with the potato. This soup recipe is very versatile. Add what you like, take out what you don’t like.
Add chicken bouillon. Some recipes add a Jamaican chicken noodle soup packet called Grace Cock soup mix. It’s more or less, bouillon.
Add 2 cloves of sliced garlic……
some springs of fresh Thyme…..
2 medium sized cut up carrots…..
I almost forgot the Scotch Bonnet. This variety of pepper is hard to find. You can substitute a Habanero pepper. A Habanero is much milder in heat than a Scotch Bonnet. If a Scotch Bonnet pepper breaks open in your soup, you can forget about eating it.
Add the pepper to the soup. Continue cooking on medium, while you are making your dumplings.
Making the dumplings:
Measure out 1 cup of all purpose flour. In a mixing bowl, add the cup of flour, salt, and a little water at a time.
Lightly knead the dough till the consistency is firm and not too sticky. Roll the dough in your hands to make the dumplings.
Don’t worry about the way they look. They are very rustic looking.
Drop the dumplings into the boiling soup and stir.
As an option, you can also add Allspice. I added 6 Allspice berries. Cook the soup for another 20-25 minutes.
Remove the pepper before serving. If you use a Scotch Bonnet pepper, I suggest occasionally tasting the soup, and remove the pepper at desired heat.
Garnish with Cilantro, serve and enjoy!
|Jamaican Chicken Soup with Dumplings|| |
- 2 - 3 pounds chicken (thighs or whole legs work well)
- 2 cups peeled, seeded and cubed Kabocha squash
- 1 sliced or chopped onion
- 2 cloves sliced garlic
- 1 Russet potato, peeled and quartered
- 1 cut and quartered turnip (optional)
- Chicken bouillon (paste or cubes)
- 5 -6 springs of fresh Thyme
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 Scotch Bonnet or Habanero pepper (whole)
- 6 Allspice berries (optional)
- 8 cups water
- Cilantro for garnish
- Ingredients for flour dumplings
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- Cut, seed and peel Kabocha squash. You will use only 2 cups of cubed Kabocha squash. Set aside.
- In a large pot, add a little canola or safflower oil, and lightly brown the chicken. Add the squash and 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20 -30 minutes.
- Add sliced onion, potato, garlic, Thyme sprigs, carrots, (turnips and chayote, optional), chicken bouillon, and Scotch Bonnet or Habanero pepper. Continue cooking while you make the flour dumplings.
- In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup flour and a little water at a time, to make the dough. Lightly knead the dough until the consistency is firm and not too sticky. If it's too sticky, add some more flour. Roll the dough in between your palms, to make the dumplings. Don't worry about how they look. They aren't very pretty.
- Drop the dumplings into the soup and stir.
- Add the Allspice berries
- Cook the soup for another 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the pepper before serving. If you use a Scotch Bonnet pepper, I suggest occasionally tasting the soup, and remove the pepper at desired heat.
- Garnish with Cilantro and serve