Friday, January 30, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings (AmyB)


Chicken -
1-1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 leek, sliced in half moons
1 rib celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 sweet potato, peeled, cut into large chunks
2 parsnips, peeled, diced
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 qt. low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. each chopped fresh sage and rosemary

Dumplings -
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 T. Parmesan cheese, grated
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
2/3 cup whole milk
3 T. unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 375 with rack in the center. Cut chicken into large pieces. Combine flour and salt, cayenne and pepper in a resealable plastic bag. Dredge chicken in flour, shaking off excess. In a deep oven-proof pot, heat 1 T. vegetable oil over med-high heat. Brown half the chicken; transfer to a plate. Brown the rest of the chicken in 1 T. oil; remove. Reduce heat to medium. (Be sure to SAVE your dredging flour.)

Sweat vegetables and bay leaves in 1 T. oil until softened, 5 minutes. (Sweating means to place all of it in a pot with the oil, stir to coat, and then cover and cook, stirring occasionally. Basically a combination of sauteeing and steaming.) Deglaze with wine; simmer until nearly evaporated. Stir in remaining dredging flour to coat vegetables. Gradually add broth, stirring until smooth. Cover pot and transfer to oven; cook for 20 minutes. (While stew is in the oven, make dumpling dough.)

For the dumplings, blend dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Heat milk and butter until butter melts; blend into dry ingredients.

After you remove the stew from the oven, stir in the chicken, lemon juice and herbs, then bring stew to a simmer on a burner. Shape dough into small balls (I use a small ice-cream scoop, like I use for shaping cookies) and drop the dumplings onto the simmering stew. Return pot to the oven and braise until dumplings are cooked through, about 20 minutes. You can test them for doneness with a toothpick. When it comes out clean, you're set!

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