- 12 thin speck slices
- 2 bunches baby asparagus, trimmed
- 1 kg hickory or other dense woodchips, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, drained
- 3 kg chicken carcasses
- 1 each carrot, onion and celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 1 each fresh bay leaf and thyme sprig
- 2 garlic cloves, bruised
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 230 gm speck, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 150 gm stale coarse sourdough breadcrumbs
- 80 gm sour cream
- 50 gm plain flour (1/3 cup)
- 4 eggs
- 15 gm softened butter
- 65 gm sauerkraut rinsed, drained and finely chopped, plus extra to serve (1/3 cup)
- 1 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- For shallow-frying: vegetable oil
- 1For smoked chicken broth, preheat a coal-bedded kettle barbecue to medium heat and set up for indirect grilling (see note). Add one-quarter of woodchips around coals and cook until smoke appears.
- 2Place chicken carcasses on barbecue and smoke, covered and turning occasionally, until golden and well flavoured (30-40 minutes).
- 3Transfer chicken carcasses to a large saucepan with remaining ingredients, cover with water, bring to the simmer over medium heat, skim scum from surface and cook over low heat until well flavoured (2-3 hours). Strain through a fine sieve, skim fat from surface and return 1.5 litres broth to a clean saucepan. Remaining broth can be frozen for 3 months.
- 4Meanwhile, for speckknöedel, heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat, add speck and onion and sauté until tender (8-10 minutes). Drain on absorbent paper, then transfer to a bowl, add breadcrumbs, sour cream, flour, eggs, butter, sauerkraut and parsley, season to taste, mix to combine. Stand until slightly firm (30 minutes), then shape into 2cm-diameter dumplings. Just before serving, heat vegetable oil to 1cm deep in a large frying pan and shallow-fry dumplings in batches, turning occasionally, until golden (2-3 minutes). Drain briefly on aborbent paper, then transfer to serving bowls.
- 5Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Place speck on an oven tray lined with baking paper, roast until crisp (10-15 minutes). Keep warm.
- 6Bring broth to the simmer over medium-high heat, add asparagus and cook until tender (2-4 minutes). Ladle over dumplings and serve hot with speck slices, sauerkraut and chervil sprigs.
Note Indirect grilling is cooking away from the heat, using the top rack. It's important to have your coal base well established and glowing before adding woodchips. Refer to your barbecue manual for instructions.
Drink Suggestion: German-style wheat beer. Drink suggestion by Max Allen