Weeknight meal: chicken and dumplings

Chicken and dumplings isn’t a dish I grew up with and I’ve only been making it for a few years now; in fact I’ve never eaten it any other place than in my own house when I make it.  But after a few years, I’ve learned a few things, and think I’ve arrived at a pretty darn good recipe.  It’s a little more work than the average recipe I’ve come across, but I think it’s worth the slightly extra effort:

Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, about 3 pounds
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 C water
  • 2 C white chicken stock

Place all the ingredients in a pot or dutch oven and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about an hour or until the chicken is done.  Remove the chicken and let cool before shredding the meat.

Let the broth cool so you can easily skim the fat off.  Strain the solids from the liquid and remove the onion, bay leaves and thyme, return the carrots and celery to the broth.

Ingredients for finishing the broth:

  • Seven ounces blonde roux (roughly equal parts fat – butter – to flour, cooked for a a few minutes until it just begins to give off an aroma and is a straw or blonde shade of color
  • 1/2 white wine
  • 2 C white chicken stock
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt & pepper

While the roux is still hot whisk in white wine so that there are no lumps, simmer until the wine is mostly cooked down, then whisk in the stock.  When it’s incorporated whisk in the remaining from boiling the chicken, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until it’s the desired consistency (about 20 minutes).  Add the lemon juice, season with salt and pepper.

For the dumplings:

  • 2 C A/P flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  •  Tbsp tarragon, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp shortening
  • 3/4 C buttermilk

To make the dough, combine the first six ingredients, then cut or rub in the shortening.  Add the buttermilk and combine until it just comes together (do not over mix or your dumplings will not be light and fluffy).  Roll out the dough to 1//4 – 1/2″ thickness and pinch off pieces.  Drop the pieces in the simmering liquid and cook for 10 minutes.

Enjoy.

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