Chicken Stock and Stock Meat Dumplings

Whenever I buy a whole chicken, everyone (including my butcher) thinks I am going to roast it, braise it or do something similar with the whole bird. In reality, I do this maybe with one chicken out of thirty. The rest of the time I buy it for its lower price, for the stock and for the stock meat dumplings.ย The whole bird yields at least three meals for two and the stock is a basis for at least one soup.

I am always surprised that so many people are afraid of ย cutting up a raw chicken, while it is so easy. My – very unprofessional – carving process takes ten minutes and I’m left with legs (which I use mainly in Shoyu Chicken), breasts (used often in stir-fries), wings (which I love grilled) and, last but not least, the carcass, which is the key to the home-made stock and Stock Meat Dumplings.

Instead of praising the obvious home-made chicken stock’s qualities, I would like to attract your attention to what is left once the stock has been cooked and strained. In my opinion the slowly cooked vegetables and the meat scraped from the carcass create an extraordinary dumpling stuffing. The chicken meat, simmered close to the bones ends up soft, juicy and the vegetables’ company makes it particularly flavoursome. ย These dumplings taste heavenly when cooked in the same stock afterwards. In fact, I often prepare chicken stock only to be able to prepare the dumplings and cook them in it. This is one of these situations where by-products prove more worthwhile than the main product.

TIPS: If you don’t want to bother with the whole bird, these dumplings can be made with one chicken leg; it will usually give a similar yield to the carcass. The stock will be quite good too, but of course not as good as the one made with the whole carcass.

This stock tastes best when made with parsley root, but if you don’t have it, substitute it adding more celeriac and several big sprigs of parsley (see below).

Preparation: stock: about 3 hours, dumplings: about 40 minutes (or more if you fry them)

Ingredients (yield: about 24 dumplings):

1 chicken carcass, without legs, breasts or wings (or 1 leg, skin on)

1 big carrot

1/4 celeriac

1 parsley root (or 1/4 celeriac or a small parsnip and 5 big sprigs of parsley greens)

1 small onion

green leaves from 1 medium leek

salt, pepper

1 egg

1 package (24) dumpling skins (Chinese, Japanese or Korean)

(5 tablespoons chopped raw leek, the white or the light green part)

First prepare the stock.

Put the carcass and the vegetables in a big pan.

Cover with cold water, season with salt and pepper and let it simmer for about 3 hours, adding water if necessary (if it evaporates too much).

Strain the liquid. Let it cool down. (The stock can be refrigerated for about a week and frozen for several months).

In the meantime chop very finely the carrot and the parsley root (substitute with 5 tablespoons chopped cooked celeriac or parsnip).

Add the chopped raw leek.

Using your fingers and a fork scrape the meat from the carcass and chop it very finely with a knife.

Combine the meat, the vegetables, one raw egg, season with salt and pepper.

Place several dumpling skins on the counter.

Brush the edges with water and put a heaped teaspoon of stuffing on each skin. Seal the edges, pinching them, or use a dumpling sealer.

Bring 1 liter of the stock to boil (or 1 liter of salted water if you are saving the whole stock for a soup) and cook the dumplings for about 5 minutes.

Do not cook more than 5 – 6 dumplings at a time.

Serve them immediately or fry them.

 

 

 

48 Replies to “Chicken Stock and Stock Meat Dumplings”

  1. You’re absolutely right; it makes entire sense to buy the whole chicken for various uses – you cannot beat the economy. Strange as it is, my stomach still turns on occasion when I handle animals… I think I haven’t fully come to terms with eating them – that accounts for why I keep the preparations (cutting; pounding; handling) to a minimum. There’s no logic, it’s just what it is. Your dumplings are gorgeous Sissi – and I love how you turned one up for us to see the contents (great photo) – I am going to look for dumpling skins this week – I have never made my own dumplings before which is a shame because our family loves them…thank you for the recipe Sissi!

    1. Kelly, your compliments make me such a pleasure: I had many difficulties with this photo (we have had almost two weeks of dark days without any sun) and was worried the dumplings wouldn’t look appetising. I also am not a big fan of fiddling with a whole bird (I don’t like the smell of raw chicken), but since I buy free-range or organic chickens only, it means it means I save quite a lot of money. If I could ask my butcher to do it for me, I would never probably bother.
      Since I discovered Asian dumpling skins (several years ago) I always have them frozen. They are so convenient and versatile!

  2. I’ve never made dumplings, always wanted to. Its a brilliant idea to use scraps and leftover veges for filling. Unfortunately I don’t buy a whole chicken often but when I do its for the stock. I read somewhere that roasting the bones first until brown makes a more flavourful stock. I tried this once only so I cannot compare.

    1. Thank you so much, Mr. Three-Cookies. I know some people roast the bones first, but since for me the chicken stock is a lazy preparation par excellence, I never bothered to change. I simply put everything in a pan, let it simmer and forget about it for three hours, checking only two or three times if water needs to be added. I am very curious however how it would taste with roasted bones.

      1. I do think there is an extra depth of flavour to stock made with roasted bones and veggies. I usually do this though my mom’s stocks were only made with the raw whole chicken cut into pieces and various veggies (onion, parsnips, celery, carrot) and parsley stalks and still tasted very good.

        The only thing I don’t like about making stock is having to skim off the ‘scum’ that forms from the blood and other proteins when you first bring the cold water JUST to the boil, and then lower the heat so that your stock simmers rather than boils for the 2-3 hrs needed to make a flavourful stock. Otherwise, you get a cloudy/murky liquid even after you strain it through cheesecloth in a metal strainer as I do. I usually made big batches of stock … 28-32 cups as I have a big chest freezer to store it in, in 4 cup batches.

        I use the clean chicken fat that floats to the top and solidifies to make matzoh balls (the Jewish knaidlach) for matzoh ball soup.

        hxxp://is-that-my-bureka.blogspot.com/2007/03/thats-way-ball-bounces.html

        1. I am a bit ashamed to say this, but I never skim off the scum. I never have the stock alone, but as a soup basis, so I don’t mind if it’s a bit cloudy after being strained. I should use up the chicken fat too! Usually I just take it off the surface of the refrigerated stock and simply throw it away… I like a lot duck fat, pork fat or goose fat, since they have a pleasant aroma, but I have never been really fond of chicken fat (or maybe I don’t know how to use it?). Thanks for the link!

          1. I think the quality of the chicken fat depends the quality of your chickens. My parents raised their own chickens for the last 7 or so years. Only in the last few, as they got too old to really manage, have I had to buy mass produced grocery store chickens again. The really good quality ones come from the city market and there, you get what you pay for but I believe our chickens, here in Canada are, on the whole good.

            The chicken fat is called schmaltz in Hebrew and this page gives some ideas how to produce it and use it.

            hxxp://www.sadiesalome.com/recipes/schmaltz.html

            1. I have been buying for the last two years only free-range chicken with a quality label (no antibiotics, hormones or other drugs given to “standard” chickens), so I suppose the fat must be of correct quality. Of course it doesn’t taste as well as a family-grown chicken, but it’s the best available at the butcher’s or supermarket. I pay a lot too, this is why I often buy the whole bird. Thank you once more for the link. I have heard Jews use chicken fat a lot.

              1. They use the chicken skin cracklings (gribenes) in a number of dishes as well. In non-Jewish cultures, pork cracklings are used for similar purposes. I suspect my mom’s pork crackling biscuits, which you saw and commented on, have their Jewish counterparts. ๐Ÿ™‚

                hxxp://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/78777.html

                I’m going to give them another shot soon as I have several things I want to do differently.

                1. Pork cracklings are quite popular in many countries, but I have never heard about chicken cracklings. Thanks again! I’m looking forward to see your version.

  3. I always buy whole chicken too, and I’m so lucky to find the 2 cute ladies at the chicken stall at my morning market, they cut the chicken pieces anyway you want and totally trim the fat off the chicken. I hardly make chicken stock, usually I use carcass to cook my chinese soups which I will finish clean the meat on the carcass ๐Ÿ™‚
    What a great idea to use the chicken stock leftover for chicken dumplings, i’ve never attempted dumpling. time to look into it ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you, Shannon. You are so lucky. I wish I could do the same. Then I wouldn’t have to carve the whole chicken.

  4. Hi Sissi, I am one of those who is afraid to cut up a whole chicken. My sister tells me it’s easy, but I don’t think we have the correct knife to do a good job, or I am just too lazy to give it a try… Your dumplings are gorgeous! and they should bring you lots of food fortune in the Dragon year!

    1. Thank you, Jeno! I was also a bit afraid at the beginning, but I decided I would cut it up if it’s correct or not. As long as I manage to cut off breasts and legs, I don’t care if it’s a “good job” ๐Ÿ˜‰ I didn’t know dumplings were supposed to bring good fortune! In this case I will make them every day ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you for letting me know! I hope it comes true.

      1. Dumplings resemble the look of golden and silver ingots that Chinese people used as money, this is why it’s important for family to eat them during the Chinese New Year celebration. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Shannon’s right. We’re spoilt rotten here with little ladies cutting the chicken up for us any which way we want it. I have no hope of making these pretty, pretty dumplings out of stock scrap. My mum loves nibbling at the bones for the little bits of meat. She says they taste better than the big chunks of meat ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Thank you, Ping. You are lucky indeed! I wish I also had the lovely little ladies ๐Ÿ˜‰ Actually my butcher would cut any meat for me in any way I want, but not the chicken… (Then he would propose me the individual cuts he has already prepared, which are more expensive…). Not to mention supermarkets.
      Your mum is right! When I scrape the meat off the bones, I sometimes eat half of it and then can make less dumplings. I cannot resist the soft, delicate meat…

  6. My wife and I are firm believers of only purchasing whole chicken. Cheaper and you obtain so many additional uses. Love your idea of using the extras from the stock making for stuffing in dumplings. Absolutely brilliant!

    1. Hi, Sportsglutton. Thank you for the compliment! I am so happy to learn you also are whole bird buyers! I’m sure you have developed throughout the years many tricks and tips I have no idea about!

  7. haha the very first post i made on my blog was titled “I cut up a whole chicken today!” hahaha. your stock recipe is intriguing, it’s the first time i heard of celeriac and parsley root (what is parsley root??) instad of the usual onions,carrots and celery! wnat to give this a try definitely, and i agree, i love the little bits of meat left clinging to the bones, they’re so tender and yum after all the slow cookign!

    1. Thank you, Shu Han! I have obviously missed your first post! Actually chicken stock is a bit different in every European country. For example the colder part of Europe doesn’t use celery (which is not very popular in several countries), but celeriac which grows very well in cold regions. My stock is typically Polish (minus the cabbage which I don’t add most of the time because it gives a strong taste). Parsley root is simply the root of parsley. There is a variety of parsley which apart from the green part gives also big roots (smaller than parsnips, but similar) and parsley root is used widely in Central European stocks. Parsley root is now more and more popular in France and Switzerland (I find him on the markets ands sometimes in organic shops, in Switzerland even some supermarkets sell it for a couple of weeks a year). It is very aromatic (like a stronger version of the parsley greens aroma).

  8. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant way to use up the excess stock meat! Reminds me of wonton soup, except this idea is better, because you can totally reinvent something you don’t really have use for into a new and exciting dish! Way to go Sissi!

    1. Thank you so much, Zsuzsa. Wonton soup is just one dish, while here the dumplings are served separately and a part of the stock not used to cook them can be used in any soup. I’m very happy you like my idea!

  9. I’ll tell you why I’m “afraid” of carving up a whole, raw chicken… at the end, when all is done – it’s just so… messy. If you buy a leg or drumstick from a store, ready prepared, it’s all neat and tidy, but when you’re doing it yourself, there’s bone and gristle flying around all over the place… it’s like “Should I be cutting through this ligament here? Should I be cutting this muscle? What am I even cutting, I can’t see because there’s raw meat smooshing around all over my fingers” :p

    Regardless of my little “freakout”, I love the look of these perfect little dumplings Sissi – I remember you made some dumplings before which looked excellent too… you really have great skill in making such perfect little parcels ๐Ÿ™‚ I love dumplings so much – did you ever try to make your own “skins” before?

    1. Thank you, Charles for the compliments. I am very flattered ๐Ÿ™‚ The Japanese or Chinese skins are so thin and well made, I have never attempted doing them, but I do make thicker and more elastic dumpling dough for Polish dumplings (sorry, the photos are awful!) http://www.withaglass.com/?p=3800. This thicker dough is simply perfect for certain kinds of stuffings.
      As for the chicken, I felt the same as you maybe with the first 20 carved chickens. Now, even though my breasts are never very neat, the legs and wings are looking rather ok and actually I think one “feels” where they should be cut off. If I were rich, I would buy the whole chicken not as often…

  10. I must confess — I serve pre-made dumplings quite often, as the girls just love them. I think my entire family would be very, very excited if I made my own. I’ve been spatchcocking my chickens for a couple years now…so what’s stopping me from cutting up the whole chicken? I’d be checking off two new skills all with one recipe! Sissi I think you could start your own cooking class….I would come!

    1. Barb, you are too kind. If you saw the way I cut up the chicken (my kitchen looks like a place of tortures!). Since I discovered the Asian dumpling skins I do dumplings quite often. It’s so easy and you can choose anything you want for the filling. (And everyone is impressed as much as if you did the dumpling skins from the scratch). Good luck!

  11. As long as there is no neck and feet I am not afraid…it’s easier to cut after cooked for some reason, so that I don’t have to *imagine* so much. I do have full imagination, you know. lol. Your dumplings look so yummy and beautiful. How many can you eat one time? I am okay with just a few (maybe 4?) but each of my kids eat 6 and shen eat like 20…. after seeing that I always lose my appetite. LOL. Sorry off the topic, I almost always think about it when I discuss about dumplings. Hope you are well, Sissi! I’m slowly recovering!

    1. Thank you so much, Nami. I’m surprised: you are not afraid of whole fish, with eyes etc. and chicken feet scare you? (By the way I love chicken feet the Chinese way!). It’s difficult to say how many I can eat (it depends, but if they are only cooked/steamed I can have more), but my husband can have lots of them too. I’m so sorry you are still ill! I hope it ends soon (it’s a very long cold isn’t it?).

    1. Thank you, Leaf. I cook only for two (unless I have guests), but I love chicken so much, I don’t have problems with finishing it in a couple of days ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much, Karen. Your comment about the comments is one of the best compliments I have ever received. I love discussing food, always learn so much through the comments and always regret the blogs where no one bothers even to answer (luckily yours is not among these!).

  12. I absolutely adore dumplings and I eat them on a regular basis – they’re also one of the main reasons why I can’t keep carb away from my diet ;). I have nevertheless never heard of this kind of dumpling filling before, but I can imagine that it’s very flavourful!! I love chicken stock for soup even though I have to admit I don’t buy whole chickens regularly and mostly buy drumsticks or thighs for making stock. And oh, I love celery roots for my stock, especially beef stock, it’s so aromatic…!!

    1. Thank you so much, CG. Celeriac gives a different, deeper aroma than celery, doesn’t it? It’s been ages I haven’t made beef stock…

  13. It just takes practice and a bit of confidence to butcher meat. Chickens are simple. These dumplings look wonderful, so dainty and well presented. Dumplings are one of Katherine’s favorites.

    1. THank you, Greg. I totally agree about confidence. Once you see you are able to cut it up (more or less), you know you can improve.

    1. Thank you so much, Robert-Gilles. I am glad you like it. Sometimes I have been making certain dishes for years, they seem obvious for me and then I realise practically no one does them. This was the case with these dumplings.

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