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Delight the Family with Bon Appetit’s Best Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

The weather here in our part of New York has been wild, to say the least. We had days of 70 degrees and higher last week, followed up by torrential rains and the wind and then a plunge back down into the 20s today. It is no wonder that we are all fighting colds here now! So what is better to make when you are fighting the sniffles than a nice stew or soup? I had recently made some homemade chicken stock and was ready to take advantage of it when I decided this would be a very good time to break out some chicken and dumplings. It gave me a great way to use up the leftover chicken I had and combine it with some vegetables, an excellent broth and wonderful dumplings to top it all off. I had seen this recipe in Bon Appetit for the best chicken and dumplings, so it only made sense to give the best a try.

The Best Chicken and Dumplings

4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)

1 leek, pale-green and white parts only

4 carrots, 1 whole, 3 chopped into ½-inch rounds

4 celery stalks, 1 whole, 3 chopped into ½-inch pieces

1 medium onion, chopped, divided

3 garlic cloves, smashed

4 sprigs thyme

Parsley stems from ½ a bunch

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

Kosher salt

½ cup chicken fat (schmaltz) or butter, melted, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

1½ cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

½ cup heavy cream

Chopped chives (for serving), optional

Bring the chicken, leek, whole carrot, whole celery stalk, half of the onion, garlic, thyme, parsley stems, bay leaf, peppercorns, and 3 quarts of water to a simmer in a large wide pot. Cook, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 40–50 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and let it sit until it is cool enough to handle. Shred the meat from the thighs and legs, discarding the skin, bones, and excess fat. Cover the meat with foil to keep warm. Alternatively, shred any leftover chicken meat you may have (a mix of dark and white meat is great, but use whatever is available).

Strain the chicken stock through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard the solids. Wipe out the pot, pour the stock back in, and bring the stock to a simmer. Stir in 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of salt. Alternatively, use homemade chicken stock that you have made previously and bring it to a simmer.

Heat ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of the schmaltz or butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook the chopped carrot, chopped celery, and the remaining onion, occasionally stirring, until the vegetables are softened but not completely tender, about 8–10 minutes; season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Add ½ cup of the flour and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are coated, about 1 minute. Scrape the vegetable mixture into the simmering stock and whisk until the liquid is thickened and no lumps remain, then continue to cook until the vegetables are tender, about 10–15 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of pepper, and the remaining 1 cup of flour in a medium bowl. Whisk the buttermilk and the remaining 3 tablespoons of schmaltz or butter in a small bowl. Fold the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients just until the dough comes together (be careful not to overmix, or the dumplings will be tough).

Add the heavy cream and the reserved chicken meat to the stew and return the mixture to a simmer. Drop tablespoon-sized portions of the dough into stew (don’t worry if they aren’t perfect, they will puff up as they cook). Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover the pot and check the dumplings for doneness: They should be about 5 times larger and should cover the entire surface of the stew. To be extra sure, you can remove a dumpling and cut it in half to see if it’s cooked through; the interior should look like a soft dinner roll. If they’re not fully cooked, cover and cook for about 2 minutes more.

Divide the chicken soup and dumplings among the serving bowls, then top with the chives, if desired.

This is a very hearty and filling stew/soup. The flavor from the broth is splendid and you get a broth that is just thick enough to provide you with everything that you want. The dumplings are also perfectly soft and tasty and add just the right touch to the dish. I used butter since I didn’t have any chicken schmaltz, leftover chicken and previously made stock to simplify the process even more. All of these shortcuts allowed me to save a lot of prep time and get the dinner on the table in about 35 or 40 minutes and it still had all the flavor you want. This recipe makes plenty; Bon Appetit says it is 6 servings, but you could easily get more out of that, and we had leftovers available for lunches for days. The stew actually gets better the next day, and you can thin it out with a little water or stock to get it the way you want it. It is a nice change of pace from the traditional chicken soup when you want something a little different without a lot of extra work.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

 
 
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Posted by on February 27, 2017 in Cooking, Dinner, One Pot Meals, Poultry, Soups & Stews

 

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A Slow Day Calls for Slow Cooking

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

 

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