Wednesday, March 19, 2014

National Poultry Day - Mar. 19th; Chef Elena Arzak

Chef Elena Arzak
Elena Arzak is an award-winning chef, originally working in her family’s restaurant Arzak (which has a Michelin 3-star rating) when she was just 11. She received more training across Europe attending school before returning to Spain to work next to her father as joint head chef. In 2012, she won Restaurant’s Veuve Clicquot award for World’s Best Female Chef. They opened Ametsa with Arzak Instruction in London in 2013.

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March 19th is National Poultry Day -- a day for appreciating those domesticated birds who give us meat and eggs. From Cornish hens to geese to turkeys and the eggs they all come from, these have been part of our diet for a very long time. One of my favorite things for dinner when it's cold and gloomy is chicken and dumplings.

I use an old recipe for the dumplings I found in a 1956 cookbook, The American Woman's Cook Book, edited by Ruth Berolzheimer:

2 C. sifted flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/4 C. shortening
3/4 C. milk

Sift dry ingredients together, and cut in shortening (using knives or a pastry blender). Add milk to make a soft dough and place on floured surface, patting out to 1/2" thick and cut into 1-inch pieces. Drop in boiling chicken stock, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

These are a firmer dumpling than the Bisquick dumplings I used to make, and are so good. They hold up better in leftovers, too.

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