A WHISKER OF TROUBLE
A Second Chance Cat Mystery
by Sofie Ryan
February 2, 2016
Sarah in the Second Chance Cat mysteries can’t cook. Well, that’s not entirely correct. Now that we’ve reached Book # 3, A Whisker of Trouble, Sarah actually can make a few things thanks to the efforts of her grandmother’s friends, Rose and Charlotte.
While Sarah has been learning basic cooking skills like how to make fluffy scrambled eggs, my college girl has been learning more complicated recipes like honey-oatmeal rolls and chicken soup.
I like to serve dumplings with my chicken soup…and beef stew and, well, you get the picture. The secret to my fluffy, perfectly cooked dumplings is my double boiler. That’s right. I don’t cook the dumplings on the top of my soup or stew. (My mother-in-law was appalled when she found out.)
This chicken soup recipe originally came from Budget Bytes. (A great website with delicious, budget-friendly recipes.) As usual I’ve made some changes from the original.
Slow Cooker Chicken Soup with Dumplings
1 medium onion
2 stalks of celery
3 – 4 medium carrots
2 boneless chicken breasts cut in half
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon thyme
½ teaspoon sage
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
6 cups water or chicken stock or half of each
I cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ tablespoons margarine or butter
⅓ cup milk
Chop onions, carrots and celery into small pieces. Add vegetables, bay leaf, thyme, basil, sage, chicken and water/stock to the slow cooker. Cook on high for four hours.
After four hours remove the chicken breasts, recover the slow cooker and leave on the warm setting. Chop the chicken into small pieces—or shred if that’s easier and return it to the pot with the salt and pepper to keep warm until the dumplings are done.
Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together. Cut in the margarine with two knives or a pastry cutter. Add enough milk to make a soft dough. (You may need a little more or a little less.) Divide the dough into eight portions.
Lightly grease the top half of a double boiler. Get the water boiling in the bottom. Put the top section over the boiling water, cover and cook the dumplings for about 15 minutes. (Don’t peek!)
Dish the soup into bowls and top with a dumpling. This makes about six servings of soup, which means there will be two extra dumplings. Share as you see fit or instead of making eight dumplings, divide the dough into six portions and steam for an extra 5 minutes.
About the author
Sofie Ryan is a writer and mixed media artist who loves to repurpose things in her life and her art. She is the author of The Whole Cat and Caboodle and Buy a Whisker in the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mystery series. She also writes the New York Times bestselling Magical Cats Mystery series under the name Sofie Kelly.