Introduction: "Monkey Eyeball" and "Squirrel Brain" Stew

For an eerie Halloween meal, why not serve Monkey Eyeball and Squirrel Brain Stew?  Actually it's delicious Chicken soup with Potato Dumplings (alias squirrel brains) and the addition of black olives (alias monkey eyeballs).   Guests may be a little squeemish and uncertain about eating until they take a taste and then they'll probably ask for seconds. 

Step 1: Ingredients:

2 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup sliced celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut in cubes
4 c. chicken broth
2 c. carrots, sliced in circles
3/4 tsp. pepper, divided
1 tsp. salt, divided
1 bay leaf
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1 T. butter
1 1/4 c. instant potato flakes
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 can pitted black olives, drained

Step 2: Make the Soup.

In a Dutch oven, saute onion, celery and garlic in olive oil until tender.  Add chicken, broth, carrot, 1/2 tsp.salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. 

Step 3: Creating the "Squirrel Brains" and Adding the "Monkey Eyeballs."

Then, in a medium saucepan, combine water, milk, butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. pepper and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the potato flakes, egg and flour, mixing well.  Drop heaping tablespoons of this dough into the chicken soup.  Continue to cook uncovered over medium heat for 10 minutes or until thepotato dumplings (squirrel brain lookalikes) are firm.  Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Add the whole black olives (monkey eyeball lookalikes) and heat 1 additional minute. 

Step 4: The Finished Result

The soup is ready to serve.  Ladle into bowls, making sure each has at least 2 "monkey eyeballs" and 2 "squirrel brains" to keep diners in suspense.  Then see how long it will take someone to taste some.  The recipe should make 6 servings.  Have a fun Halloween!

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