Boiled Bacon Hock and Chicken with Dumplings


serves 8
800 g (1 3/4 lb) bacon hock
1.1 kg (2 1/2 lb) chicken
6 medium-sized potatoes, quartered
2 Spanish onions, quartered
6 medium-sized carrots, cut into chunks
freshly ground black pepper
1 small cabbage, cut into 8 wedges
30 ml (2 tbsp) finely chopped
fresh parsley, to garnish

for the cornmeal dumplings

65 g (2 1/2 oz) cornmeal
65 g (2 1/2 oz) self-raising flour
1.5 ml (1/4 tsp) salt
15 g (1/2 oz) butter
1/2 egg, beaten
60 - 75 ml (4 - 5 tbsp) milk


1. Put the hock and the chicken into a heavy 4.5 litre (8 pt) saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.

2. Add the potatoes and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Add the onions and carrots and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper (the bacon may have made the stock already salty) and simmer for 15 minutes. Check the bacon and chicken; if they are cooked, remove them and keep them warm.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the dumplings. Sift the cornmeal, flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in the butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the beaten egg and milk to make a soft dough.

4. Add the cabbage wedges to the saucepan and push them down into the simmering stock.

5. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough into the simmering stock. Cover and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, or until the dumplings are fluffy and firm and the vegetables are tender.

6. Remove the bacon hock to a board. with a sharp knife, remove and discard the skin and fat and cut the meat into chunks. Place the chicken on the board, remove and discard the skin and cut into 8 portions. Divide the meat between 8 individual heated soup bowls.

7. Divide the vegetables, dumplings and broth between the bowls and sprinkle each one with finely chopped parsley. Serve immediately.

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