Wookiee Hut Cuisine presents:
Chicken Liver Dumplings in Chicken Soup
by Rosie and SuSu

"Maj gomboc," mumbled River. As usual, the crew of "Serenity" ignored the girl's babblings. They accepted that she loved them and wouldn't hurt them, but they were still disturbed by her mental instability and psychic talents. So if she didn't make sense, it was best not to delve deeper.

However, her brother Simon, her guardian and the one person in the whole 'verse who loved her purely and unconditionally no matter what was wrong with her mind, heard her and realized she was not talking nonsense this time. Up till now, she had simply eaten what the crew was eating, not complaining about the inexpensive protein and canned rations available. He was encouraged now that she was talking about a dumpling made with chicken liver and a broth made from the same chicken; perhaps it meant she was breaking through whatever the evil Alliance men had done to her brain.

He was also immediately discouraged in that he could not provide her with this dish. They'd eaten it frequently in their childhood together. Though there was a decade between them, they were very close and spent all their time together until Simon went to medical school and River was sent to an exclusive and elite academy.

They had a nanny who was said to actually have been born on Earth-that-was, and who had gotten this recipe from a country which had been called Hungary. The recipe was many centuries old, and a family treasure. Their nanny had both children help make this dish, and Simon wracked his brains to remember how to do it. He failed abysmally; Jayne even had some awful description about the smell of the mess Simon made. River had refused to eat the gruel-like disaster, and the dish remained only as a memory. Still, it was comforting to know that River had memories from happier times.

Finally, when the ship landed for a job on Persephone, Simon did find a tiny food kiosk that smelled familiar. He bought nine portions of the dish (one for every member of the crew, including him and River). The ship's denizens enjoyed Simon's gift, and even Jayne commented it didn't smell anything like Simon had made previously ... and River told him she knew the recipe. Is that what he was trying to feed her? Why hadn't he just asked her for it ...?

  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ small onion, grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 to 6 oz/ 115 to 170 g chicken livers, trimmed and chopped very fine
  • 2 quarts chicken broth or stock
Beat together the butter and egg very throughly, then add the grated onion and the parsley. In another bowl, sift together the flour baking powder, salt and pepper. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix gently to form a dough. Add the liver to the dough and mix thoroughly; add a bit more flour if you want to stiffen the dough, but it should be on the soft side.

Boil the broth or stock, and set aside half of it for serving. The half remaining in the pot should be at a boil. Take a small spoonful of dough and drop it into the boiling broth quickly — the soup should stop boiling as the raw dumplings go into it. Drop the heat down to a simmer. Allow to simmer / steam till the dumpling float up — they should be in the hot broth for about 5 minutes. Drain them with a slotted spoon, and divide among the soup plates. Ladle out the reserved hot broth over the dumplings. Serves 4.

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