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A Slow Day Calls for Slow Cooking

19 Mar

It’s been a typical Monday, so I am glad I was cooking with the slow cooker today. Today I am using a recipe from America’s Test Kitchen for Chicken and Dumplings. I’ve made this before on the stove top, but I decided to use the slow cooker method today.

Chicken and Dumplings

3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 onions, minced

2 celery ribs, sliced 1/4 inch thick

6 garlic cloves, minced

1  tablespoon tomato paste

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup dry sherry

4 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus extra if needed

4 carrots, peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick

2 bay leaves

1 cup frozen peas

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

For the Dumplings:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter

Dry the chicken with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown half of the chicken lightly on both sides, 5 to 8 minutes; transfer to a bowl. Repeat with 1 tablespoon more of the oil and the remaining chicken; transfer to a bowl.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, celery, garlic, tomato paste and thyme, and cook until the vegetables are softened and lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Whisk in 1 cup of broth, smoothing out any lumps; transfer to the slow cooker.

Stir in the remaining 3 1/2 cups of broth, carrots and bay leaves into the slow cooker. Nestle browned chicken with any accumulated juices into the slow cooker. Cover and cook until the chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low setting.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, allow to cool slightly, then shred into bite size pieces. Let the stew settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from the surface using a large spoon. Discard the bay leaves. Stir the shredded chicken, peas and parsley into the stew, and season with salt and pepper to taste (Adjust the stew consistency with additional broth if necessary). Cover and cook on high until simmering, or transfer to a Dutch oven and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

For the dumplings, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Microwave the milk and butter together until warm, about 1 minute, then whisk to melt the butter. Stir the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just incorporated and smooth. Drop golf ball size dumplings on top of the simmering stew, leaving about 1/4 inch between each dumpling (you should have about 18 dumplings). Cover and cook until the dumplings double in size, 25 to 35 minutes. Serve.

It’s a delicious meal. The dumplings come out just right and the chicken just falls apart and tastes wonderful. Here’s a picture of how it looks when it’s done:

Tomorrow night’s meal will be the Spaghetti and Meatballs that I never got to last week. Work schedules and homework just got in the way last week, but this week we shouldn’t have any problems (fingers crossed). I have made spaghetti and meatballs before, and if you want to see the previous recipe, you can check it out here. I think I am going to try to vary it a little bit this time. Check back tomorrow and see how it looks. Until then, enjoy the last day of winter (it was 74 here in New York today) and enjoy your meal!

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2 Comments

Posted by on March 19, 2012 in Cooking, Dinner, Poultry, Slow Cooker Meals

 

Tags: , , ,

2 responses to “A Slow Day Calls for Slow Cooking

  1. leanneregan

    March 31, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    My mum used to cook dumplings a lot when we were kids so I think I’m going to get this into my plan for next week’s food plan. I’m the same as you, I plan so we don’t have to think about what to eat every day and can get on and enjoy the cooking and eating parts! Great blog!

     
    • MikeG

      March 31, 2012 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks Leanne! I am glad you enjoy the blog. Planning things out makes things so much easier for me come mealtime. With all the running around that’s done, this plan has worked out great for us. We know what to shop for, what we are having and everything gets done, and we all get to participate in the process, which makes it fun too!

       

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