Chicken and Dumplings

I used to watch a TON of cooking shows on the Food Network – but now I rarely have the time.  I barely have time to keep up with what’s in my DVR queue between reality TV, sit coms, and prime time dramas!  On occasion, I will put them on the list to be “DVR’d” – one that I recently watched was Tyler’s Ultimate where he made chicken and dumplings and an apple brown betty.  Both looked amazing – I had high hopes of making both in one day, but that just didn’t happen.  For tonight’s dinner: chicken and dumplings, recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence.

The hubby has made chicken and dumplings a few times, but it certainly hasn’t been in the rotation of meals for awhile.  There are less labor intensive ways of going about this (chicken breasts, canned broth, Bisquick) but I wanted to follow the Tyler Florence way and make it from scratch.  I know the recipe is long – please don’t be intimidated by it!  If I could make it today, then so can you!

It was delicious, my boys preferred the chicken over the dumpling, but they are meat lovers so I wasn’t terribly surprised.  I hope you give this dish a try and let me know how yours turns out!

Chicken and Dumplings
Serves 6-8
Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence

Chicken and Stock:
1 (3 to 3 1/2 pound) whole chicken (Tyler Florence uses organic)
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
4-5 black peppercorns
1 head garlic, split
2 tablespoons salt

Buttermilk-Chive Dumplings:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 cup diced yellow onion (Tyler uses frozen pearl onions when peas go in, I am not a fan)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
Chopped chives, for garnish
For the stock:

Place the chicken and all stock ingredients in a Dutch oven or large stock pot and cover with water. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour until the chicken is tender. Skim the surface of fat and scum as it cooks.

When done remove the chicken to a cutting board. Strain the stock and shred the meat into big pieces – the stock will be used for the sauce and the chicken will be folded into it.

For the dumplings:
Sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, using a whisk, lightly beat the eggs, chives and buttermilk together; pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold. Mix just until the dough comes together; the batter should be thick and cake-like.

For the sauce:
To prepare sauce: In a Dutch oven or large stock pot, over medium heat, add the butter and oil. Add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic, and bay leaves and 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. Add frozen peas.  Add salt to taste.

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. Taste test your dish and add salt as needed.  Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped chives before serving.

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