When I told Lance that we were having chicken and dumplings for dinner he was super excited, however I wasn’t really sure what to expect since this was my first time ever trying chicken and dumplings, let alone making it! I have to say, this was really good! It’s like an amped up chicken noodle soup, minus the noodles with dumplings in their place (can’t complain about that right?!). Its got plenty of veggies and is easy on the sodium. It’s a dish that I would typically consider high calorie, prepared in a way that isn’t so bad for you. But by tasting it you’d never guess that.
There are quite a few steps to the recipe, so it does take some time to prepare. I assure you, its worth every minute (plus we enjoyed the leftovers for a few days). It’s the type of comfort meal that you can (and should!) prepare for family or loved ones. The work you put into it really shines through – just in case you’re looking for a valentines day meal to prepare for your special someone.
Chicken and Dumplings
For the Stew
6 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 small onions, chopped fine
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ¾ inch pieces
1 medium celery rib, chopped fine
¼ dry sherry
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 pound chicken wings
¼ cup chopped parsley leaves
For the Dumplings
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon baking soda
¾ cup cold buttermilk
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled for about 5 minutes
1 large egg white
For the Stew
Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, and cook until skin is crisp and well browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, turn chicken pieces and brown on second side, 5 to 7 minutes longer; transfer to large plate. Discard all but 1 teaspoon fat from pot.
Add onions, carrots, and celery to now-empty pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in broth and thyme. Return chicken thighs and any accumulated juices, to pot and ass chicken wings. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until thigh meat offers no resistance when poked with the tip of a paring knife, but still clings to the bones, 45 to 55 minutes.
Remove pot from heat and transfer chicken to a cutting board. Allow broth to settle 5 minutes, then skin fat from the surface using a wide spoon or ladle. When cooled enough to handle, remove and discard skin from chicken. Using fingers or a fork, pull meat from chicken thighs (and wings, if desired) and cut into 1-inch pieces. Return meat to pot.
For the Dumplings
Whisk flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda in a large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in a medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps; whisk in egg white. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from the sides of a bowl.
Return stew to simmer, stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Using a greased tablespoon, scoop level amount of batter and drop over top of the stew, spacing about ¼ inch apart (you should have about 24 dumplings). Wrap lid of a Dutch oven with a clean kitchen towel (keeping the towel away from the heat source) and cover pot. Simmer gently until dumplings have doubled in size and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 13 to 16 minutes. Serve immediately.
From Cooks Illustrated, Fall Entertaining 2011