Chicken & Dumplings

And this week, I wish you a good morning from Chicago!  Chicago…home of the Bears who are awaiting a loss on Sunday to the NFC Champs-to-be…GREEN BAY.  HA!  I am travelling again for meetings but waiting anxiously to get home and enjoy a Green Bay Packer game on Sunday.  I am still kicking myself for forgetting to pack my Rodgers jersey!  You might think I am kidding, but I had every intention to wear my green and gold proudly into the meeting today (which will packed with Bears fans).  In all honesty, I expect a close, entertaining game….but I look forward to a “W” for GB.  It is Rodger’s time to shine.  🙂

Growing up in Wisconsin, a love for the Packers is instilled very early on.  I will never forget seeing my dad on the couch every football Sunday afternoon…hooting and hollering at the top of his lungs.  There were years that I would look at him in awe…and confusion…and quite frankly, thought he was crazy.  There were years I would sit there along with him.  And now, I find myself (even when watching the game alone), clapping, cheering, and shouting at the tv…sometimes the same ol’ comments Hot Rod taught me all those years ago. 

Look closely…I was very serious about GB being #1.  Do you see that little finger?  LOL

In addition to my love for the Packers, I also grew up LOVING Chicken Dumpling Soup.  My grandparents would often take my sister and I to a restaurant (truck stop in Abbotsford WI) called “Mr B’s”.  There was nothing I looked forward to more than lunch with Grandpa and Grandma.  My order always included (and never swayed):  a side salad with french (sweet & tangy) dressing and a bowl of chicken dumpling soup.  Since when does a kid order a salad?  Don’t worry…it was really the dressing I was after.  🙂  But the soup….I will never forget the soup.  So this week…(finally)…I decided it was time to attempt homemade Chicken & Dumplings (Tyler Florence style).  I knew I was in for a solid 3.5 hours…but I trusted every bite would be worth it.  Man was I RIGHT!

If you have time this winter, give this recipe a try!  If you prefer a thicker Chicken and Dumplings style dinner, make this recipe exactly as Tyler describes.  If you are looking for a Chicken and Dumpling “Soup”…make this recipe with my modifications.  DELICIOUS.

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

Recipe by TYLER FLORENCE

Level:  Intermediate
Serves:  6 servings

Roasted Chicken:

  • 1 (3-pound) whole chicken
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 lemon, halved and juiced; halves reserved
  • 1/4-cup fresh chopped herbs, such as thyme, parsley and rosemary
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Fresh whole herbs, such as rosemary, thyme and parsley sprigs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.   Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity of the chicken and discard.
 
 
Rinse the chicken under cold water, inside and out. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.   Season the body and cavity of the chicken generously with salt and pepper. 
 
In a small bowl, mash together the butter, lemon juice, and chopped herbs.  Rub the herbed butter all over the chicken, as well as under the skin.   Put the lemon halves, onion, garlic, and whole herbs inside the chicken cavity, for added flavor. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the chicken, breast side up, in a roasting pan fitted with a rack. 
 
 
Roast for 1 hour until the meat is no longer pink.
 
 
When cool enough to handle, shred the meat, discarding the skin and set aside. Reserve the bones for chicken stock.
 

Chicken Stock:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, cut in large chunks
  • 2 celery stalks, cut in large chunks
  • 1 onion, halved
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • Reserved chicken bones
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 4 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves 

To prepare the stock, coat a large stockpot with olive oil and place over medium heat.   Add the vegetables and saute for 3 minutes. Add the reserved chicken bones, water, and herbs; simmer for 1 hour.  
 
 
Strain the stock to remove the solids and set aside.

Dumplings:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
To prepare the dumplings: sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl.   In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and milk together; pour the liquid in the dry ingredients and gently fold.   Mix just until the dough comes together, the batter should be thick and cake-like.
 
 

Supreme Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

To prepare supreme sauce:
 
In a dutch oven, melt butter and heat oil over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves.
 
 
Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes to coat the flour and remove the starchy taste. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.
 
Let sauce simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in heavy cream.
 
Fold the reserved shredded chicken into the sauce and bring up to a simmer. Using 2 spoons, carefully drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the hot mixture. The dumplings should cover the top of the sauce, but should not be touching or crowded.   Let the dumplings poach for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm and puffy.
 
  
 
Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.
 

ROBIN’S MODIFICATIONS:

  • Add 2 tsp Penzey’s Chicken Soup Base
  • Add 6 cups store-bought low sodium Chicken Stock (additional)
  • Add 1 tbsp chopped Parsley to the soup

Let simmer for 30 minutes or until fully heated through.  Garnish as listed above and serve with love.  🙂

Mmmmmmm.  Comfort.

Indulge.  In Life.  In Love.  In Food.

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