A friend's mom taught me how to make this one freezing winter afternoon many moons ago. On that day, I thought "deglazing" was called "getting all the goodies up" and it stayed that way for some time. Since then I have made it every year when the weather turns cold and everybody starts talking about root vegetables. This soup is so incredibly full of soul. I especially love the light spice of the broth, the tender snap of carrot and celery, the succulent dark chicken meat melting off the bone, and, of course, those delicious floaty balls of dough.
This is an authentic, hearty winter stew that keeps very well and nourishes a large family on a budget. In fact, if you save all your veggie scraps and make your own stock, it's $0.38 per serving. No joke. If you're using regular flour instead of a gluten free blend, it's probably a penny or two less. —Allison O'Brien
Rinse your chicken and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle with spice blend and let rest in a bowl. Meanwhile, heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown chicken 3-4 minutes per side. Be sure not to crowd chicken pieces! It's better to do this in batches. When each batch is complete, add the partially cooked chicken to a large empty stockpot.
When all chicken pieces are in the stockpot, add one or two cups of stock to your skillet while still hot. Using a wooden spoon, scrape all the lovely brown bits that have gathered flavor so good your pan doesn't even want to let it go. When the pan is clean, pour the liquid over the chicken in the stockpot. Add the rest of your stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, simmer chicken alone 20 minutes.
Once chicken has been simmering for 20 minutes, stir in the chopped celery, onion, and carrot. Replace the cover and simmer another 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, make the dumplings and move onto the second part of the recipe.
For the Dumplings
Measure biscuit mix into a metal bowl. Melt butter in a small skillet and add garlic. Cook 30 seconds or less -- just until fragrant! Turn off heat and set aside. Stir in sour cream to cool butter mixture and then add to biscuit mix. Add milk and stir with a fork until a dough ball forms.
Add dumpling mixture to soup by the tablespoonful. The best way to accomplish this tricky part is to use two regular spoons: one to remove the dumpling mixture and the other to slide the mixture gently on top of simmering broth. It should float on top and be cooked by the steam created by all those beautiful bubbles. Try to place dumplings at least 1 inch away from each other so they cook separately. Once all dumpling mixture has been added, allow to cook 10 more minutes or until dumplings are firm and soup has reduced slightly. Serve immediately.