Soup Kitchen

Chicken Consomme with Marrow Dumplings

December 6, 2016

While the chicken soup I grew up with was a hearty rustic version, friends of mine have sung the praises of more delicate matzo ball and other dumpling soups, where the flavor of the vegetables and chicken is concentrated in a rich broth.  I found this lovely example in a handwritten cookbook from the 1890s that a friend loaned me. marrowballpage2-150x150Kept by a woman named Emma who was definitely a New York City foodie before her time, the book is full of lovely things, from oyster bisque to lobster a la Francaise. Emma, it seems, was very fond of marrow–there are a half dozen different marrow recipes in the book. I love that her recipe for these light and fluffy marrow dumplings, seasoned with parsley,  and nutmeg, is a classic still being made by chefs today.

For best flavor? Roast the marrow bones for a short while, just until the marrow is no longer pink. Then scoop the marrow into a dish and chill briefly. And do make your chicken stock from scratch to ensure it’s as fresh and flavorful as possible–it’s what you’ll then use to make your consomme.

Chicken Consomme with Marrow Dumplings
Serves 10
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Ingredients
  1. Chicken Stock Ingredients
  2. 1 chicken
  3. 2 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  4. 1 small bunch parsley
  5. 1 bay leaf
  6. 1 tsp peppercorns
  7. 1 turnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  8. 1 parsley root, peeled and roughly chopped
  9. 2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
  10. 2 small onions, peeled
  11. Chicken Consomme Ingredients
  12. 1 carrot, finely chopped
  13. 1 celery rib finely chopped
  14. 1 leek, finely chopped
  15. 1/2 lb minced chicken thigh meet
  16. 6 egg whites, beaten until frothy
  17. 2 sprigs thyme, several sprigs parsley, a few leaves of sage, a tsp of rosemary
  18. 6 to 8 cups chicken stock (use all of the stock you just made–it should measure between 6 and 8 cups)
  19. Marrow Dumpling Ingredients
  20. 4, 5- or 6- inch long marrow bones, roasted
  21. 5 cups egg bread crumbs
  22. marrow from the roasted marrow bones
  23. 3 Tbsp finely chopped parsley
  24. 3 eggs, separated
  25. Fresh ground nutmeg, about 1 tsp
  26. salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. Make stock: Wash chicken and place in large stock pot. Cover to an inch above the chicken with water. Add all of the vegetables and seasonings. Simmer for 5 to 6 hours at very low heat until vegetables are very tender and chicken meat is coming off bones. Strain broth away from vegetables and chicken. Place broth in refrigerator to chill for several hours. Save chicken and vegetables for something else.
  2. Make dumplings: Roast marrow bones at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes until marrow is no longer pink. Scoop marrow into a bowl and cool slightly. Grind egg bread to make 5 cups of fine crumbs, using a food processor. Place in a large bowl. Stir in 1 cup of milk. Stir in marrow. Mix in egg yolks, parsley and a few grinds of fresh pepper and salt. Grate nutmeg over all. Whip egg whites until they hold peaks. Fold into the mixture. Chill while you make the consomme.
  3. Make consomme: Skim fat and discard from the surface of the chicken stock. Measure 8 cups of stock into clean stock pot. Mix together all of the remaining consomme ingredients and add to pot. Stirring frequently to keep this mixture from sticking to the pot, slowly heat the broth until it begins to boil. Immediately turn heat down to simmer. The vegetables and meat and egg will have formed a raft on top of the broth. This will gradually clarify the broth to make it very clear. Allow pot of broth with “raft” on top to simmer for one hour. Carefully remove the “raft” and discard. Place cheesecloth inside a fine strainer and pour the broth through the cheesecloth and strainer. Set broth aside, keeping hot.
  4. Make dumplings: In a separate stock pot, heat 4 cups of water to boiling; salt water to taste. Form dumplings into very small balls and drop about four or five at a time into the boiling water. These will fluff up. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove with a slotted spoon, three to each small serving dish of soup. Gently ladle consomme over the balls and garnish with a few snips of parsley.
Notes
  1. For best flavor? Roast the marrow bones for a short while, just until the marrow is no longer pink. Then scoop the marrow into a dish and chill briefly. And do make your chicken stock from scratch to ensure it’s as fresh and flavorful as possible–it’s what you’ll then use to make your consomme.
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