I start my soup by rinsing the whole chicken and removing the innards that are stuffed inside. I toss the entire chicken in the pot whole with the innards that I will fish out and puree for my cat later on. I toss in a whole onion, quartered. Add some salt and pepper, two bay leaves and a bit of turmeric for some color and savory smokiness. I cover with water, bring to a boil, put a lid on and let it simmer for an hour or so until the legs can be moved easily.
In the interim, I take my mushroom brush and clean mushrooms and depending on their size, cut them into halves, quarters or leave them whole. I added about a dozen or more. The goal is to have them be of approximately uniform size.
When the chicken is done, I remove it and let it cool in a colander. I toss in the mushrooms and put the lid back on. Then mix up the dumpling dough.
1 cup water
3 cups flour
and, if you like, a tsp of grated nutmeg
I take a soup spoon and dip it into the simmering soup broth before spooning out a spoonful of the dumpling batter. By doing this, it slips easily off the spoon into the soup – so there’s no mess. I continue to drop soup spoon sized dumplings into the water taking care to keep them uniform in size. I turn the heat down to a low simmer while I debone the chicken. When the dumplings are all floating they are done and I turn the heat lower so they don’t get too tough. I reserve all the white meat for other meals – for chicken salads and sandwiches and only return the dark meat to the soup. I think white meat in the soup gets very dry when it’s reheated, so I prefer to leave it out.