Food to warm your heart

November 15, 2011 at 12:38 pm Leave a comment

Dinner was so comforting, and would have been perfect on a rainy day. It was very good regardless of the weather outside, and will be making this again (maybe on a rainy day next time).  I have never attempted chicken and dumplings before, but this recipe was relatively easy and quick to make. It was even faster since I used pre-cooked rotisserie chicken that I had in the freezer. Helpful tip: de-bone a couple of rotisserie chickens found at the deli at your grocery store, and place in food storage containers, freeze until ready to use within 4 months.

Chicken and Dumplings

(Servings 4-6, Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes)

INGREDIENTS

Chicken and Vegetables:

  • 1-1 1/2 pounds pre-cooked frozen rotisserie chicken, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons butter or olive oil
  • 1 quart chicken broth (low Sodium)
  • 2 celery stalks, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry or vermouth (optional)
  • 1 Tbsp of heavy cream (optional)
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • Ground black or white pepper

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup cake flour (can sub all-purpose flour, but use cake flour if you have it, your dumplings will be fluffier)
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup+ 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh herb leaves such as parsley, chives, and tarragon (optional)

METHOD

Add oil to large pot and heat to medium-high. When it is hot, add the onion, celery, carrot and thyme and sauté until soft, but not browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add the flour and mix well. The flour will absorb all the fat in the pot and will stick a little to the bottom. Turn the heat to medium-low and stir this constantly for 2-3 minutes. Do not let it burn.

Add the sherry and chicken broth to the flour vegetable mixture. Mix in pre-cooked chicken meat, increase the heat and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer while you make the dumplings.

Make the dumpling batter by sifting together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add (optional) chopped fresh herbs. Add melted butter and milk to the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until mixture just comes together. (Note: do not overmix! or your dumplings will turn out too dense.)

Drop dumpling batter into the simmering stew by heaping teaspoonfuls, over the surface of the stew. (Note that the dumplings will easily double in size as they cook.) Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes. The dumplings must be steamed with the lid on in order for the dumplings to be light and fluffy, so do not uncover the pot while cooking. If after 15 minutes they are still not cooked through (use a toothpick or skewer to test) cover pan again, and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Gently stir in peas, parsley and cream, if using. Ladle portions of meat, sauce, vegetables, and dumplings into soup plates and serve. Note that the stew will continue to thicken the more it sits.

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