Monday, January 2, 2012

Best Chicken and Dumplings Ever

 

Jonathan and I made chicken and dumplings tonight. As I grew up in New York, we make the dumplings in the northern U.S. style (round and biscuit-y) in contrast with southern U.S. style (flat and noodle-y). It was undoubtedly the best rendition of the dish we’ve ever constructed. 

We started with an epicurious.com recipe as our guideline but modified it significantly. Our perfected version is below. A great winter comfort dish…

Chicken and Dumplings

For the soup/stew

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T butter
  • 2 pounds chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into large chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 T poultry seasoning 
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Fresh parsley

For the dumplings
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 T Crisco
  • 1 t sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk

1. In a wide, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat the olive oil.

2. Dredge the chicken pieces in the seasoned flour, then brown them in the oil over medium heat, about 2 minutes a side. Remove and set aside.

3. Add the onion to the pot and cook for 2 minutes.

4. Add the carrots, celery, bay leaf, poultry seasoning, turmeric, salt, and pepper and cook for 8 minutes more. Use the white wine to deglaze the pan each time the vegetables start to stick. Add the garlic, butter, and flour and cook for 1-2 more minutes.

5. Stir in the broth. When the pot begins to simmer, turn down the heat to medium, and TASTE the soup/stew. Make a note of the strength of the flavor.

6. Return the chicken to the pot, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add water as needed (1-3 cups) to keep the amount of liquid and flavor the strength it was before you added the chicken back to the pot –this prevents the soup/stew from getting too salty in concentration.

7. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients. Cut in the shortening until crumbly, stir in the buttermilk taking care not to over mix. Allow to stand 5-10 minutes.

8. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons into the simmering chicken. Bring back to a soft simmer, cook 10 minutes with the cover off, 10 minutes with the cover on.

10. To serve, scoop the dumplings into bowls, then cover with stew. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.

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