The clarity that comes along with my self-care routine allows me to stand in the middle of the kitchen chaos and remain peaceful and calm. I don’t second-guess my cooking anymore or push myself as hard as I used to, just for the sake of torturing myself. Flavors and techniques just sort of fall out of the sky now that I have more courage and confidence. I know that If I do the best that I can and focus on making the next right decision, I’m doing my part, and that’s all I can ask of myself. It’s also become very difficult for me to cook heavy food—unless of course it’s fried chicken or cheeseburgers. I want people to eat my food and gain energy and happiness, not stumble out the door and fall asleep on the way home.

Sean Brock on How Sobriety Changed the Way He Cooks, Bon Appetit

(via Sean Brock Cooks Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings with Mom on Mind of a Chef – YouTube)

Organizing this in my kitchen for the weekend.

For the stock:

1 whole chicken
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 onion
2 bay leaves
1 fresh thyme sprig
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
½ tablespoon saltwater

  • Rough chop the vegetables & put them in the bottom of a large stockpot or pressure cooker. Place the whole chicken on top, breast up. Add bay, thyme, garlic, pepper, and salt. Fill with water to cover the chicken. (You could use a pressure cooker here, if you have one. 30 minutes in a pressure cooker once the pot comes up to pressure).
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer until the chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender, ~hour.
  • Remove the pan from heat (release steam if using a pressure cooker). Remove the chicken from the pot & let cool. Strain and reserve the stock. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt & pepper if needed.
  • Pick all the meat off of the chicken & set aside.

For the dumplings:

1 ¾ cups self-rising flour
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
freshly-ground black pepper

  • Bring your stock to a boil in large stockpot over medium-high heat.
  • Meanwhile, mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. The mixture will be a bit loose.
  • Drop the dough by tablespoons into the pot where the stock is boiling. The dumplings will expand almost immediately. Once you’ve used all the dough, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover the pot and gently add the chicken by pushing dumplings to the side and sliding some chicken underneath. You don’t want to break up the dumplings too much.
  • Eat and feel better about the world. At least for a little while.