The chicken soup served at Noah and Rae Bernamoff's Mile End, a Montreal-style Jewish deli in Brooklyn, New York is chockablock with lo mein, matzoh balls and kreplach, aka chicken-stuffed Jewish dumplings. It's the whole mishpucha (Yiddish for "family"), a bowl full of Jewish soup traditions. In the pair's new book, The Mile End Cookbook, the Bernamoffs offer a delightfully simpler approach: They use store-bought wonton wrappers to enclose a filling enriched with chicken skin, fat and even chicken liver, if you so desire. And trust us, you will.
Kreplach (Chicken Dumplings)Recipe adapted from Noah and Rae Bernamoff, The Mile End Cookbook (Clarkson Potter)
Yield: Serves 8
Cook Time: 10 minutes
1½ teaspoons canola oil
½ small shallot, finely chopped
1 cup (about ½ pound) raw, boneless chicken meat (preferably from 3 boneless chicken thighs), roughly chopped
⅔ cup (about ¼ pound) chicken skin and fat (reserved from the 3 chicken thighs)
2 chicken livers (optional)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped chives, plus extra for serving
1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
30 to 34 square wonton wrappers
8 cups store-bought or homemade chicken broth
1. In a small skillet set over medium heat, add the canola oil and shallot. Cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and add the chicken meat, skin, fat, livers (if using), garlic, chives, salt and pepper. Pulse until semi-smooth and then scrape into a medium bowl.
2. Place 8 wonton wrappers on a cutting board and add a heaping teaspoon of the chicken filling to the center of each. Use a pastry brush (or your index finger) to wet two adjacent edges with water and fold the corners of the wrapper together to create a triangle, forcing out as much air as possible and pressing to seal the edges. Use a fork to crimp the edges and repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.
3. In a large saucepan set over high heat, bring the chicken broth to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the kreplach (chicken dumplings). Simmer until the edges of the wrappers are translucent and the chicken in the middle of the dumpling feels firm, about 5 minutes. Serve hot with broth.
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