Part of living a local and as close to self sustaining lifestyle as possible, is learning to eat things you have never before eaten. Two years ago that was swiss chard. Swiss chard is a green, similar to kale or spinach but has a much bigger leaf and can grow anywhere, in any situation with any kind of weather. Perfect example….I kicked off 6 inches of snow to pick the chard I needed for this recipe.
We eat creamed swiss chard, stuffed swiss chard, swiss chard gratin, swiss chard stir fry, swiss chard in our eggs, omelets and quiches. I even canned swiss chard this summer trying to save a walk out to the garden in the middle of January. So when I saw a recipe for pot likker greens with dumplings in my Tavern cookbook from Colonial Williamsburg, I knew it was something to try.
The recipe is a little involved, and I hate to say that because it always deters me from making something, but ABSOLUTELY delicious, nutritious and worth the effort. I followed the gist of the recipe and added and changed things, mainly to make it easier and more appealing to the people we were serving dinner to, going so far as to call it Chicken and dumplings and skipping the “greens” part altogether.
Notes: From the Cook Book. “Pot likker is the broth that come from cooking greens. Mustard, collard, turnip greens and kale have been a part of traditional southern cooking for years. This one-dish meal calls for dumplings, an unusual and delicious way to absorb the flavorful broth.”
Notes: from Rachel. I added all of the meat from a whole cooked chicken…probably two or three cups worth. I also didn’t have any turnip, so I doubled the potatoes.
For the Pot Likker:
2 cups vegetable or chicken stock : Bring to a boil
1 lb or greens trimmed and cleaned: Cut into wide strips and add to the hot stock
1 large onion quartered
2 carrots peeled and coarsely chopped
2 celery ribs chopped Add all of these to the hot stock and simmer partially covered till
2 heads of garlic halved horizontally tender and broth has a full flavor. About 45 min.
salt and whole peppercorns
several sprigs of fresh parsley
Use a slotted spoon to remove cooked greens and vegetables, chopping all coarsely and reserve for later. (The recipe actually has you discard all of the other vegetable besides the greens, I just took out the peppercorns and garlic skins)
Add 2 large white potatoes peeled and cut into cubes to the broth, cooking till tender. About 10 min.
Add reserved chopped vegetables and chicken (if using) back to the stock, season with salt and pepper and simmer.
Now for the dumplings. I have never made anything with dumplings on top, this was so easy, delicious. You can believe I will be adding dumplings to all our broth soups this winter.
2 Cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon shortening
3/4 cup milk or more
Sift flour, salt and baking powder together, blend in shortening with pastry blender. Add milk and mix well. Dip a spoon into cold water and then the dumpling dough, spooning it on top of the pot likker. Cover and cook for 15 minutes without lifting the lid.
Hopefully you will give this a try, it was so tasty and delicious. If it’s not something you will make at home, invite yourselves over for dinner and we will make it for you!