I was looking for some Comfort Food, and it occurred to me that I saw a recipe from Tyler Florence for Chicken and Dumplings. I remember that it got some rave reviews so I decided that I’d make that. You see, I’ve never had Chicken and Dumplings before, so this was something new for me to try. I knew that I couldn’t go wrong if I was making my own stock, so I decided to follow his recipe from the very beginning.
Chicken and Stock:
- 1 (3 to 31/2 pound) whole organic chicken
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 4 to 5 black peppercorns
- 1 head garlic, split through the equator
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen pearl onions
- 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 large Dutch oven 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.
To prepare sauce:
In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the butter and oil. Add the carrot, celery, 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 and pearl onions. 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.
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.
Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped chives before serving.
Okay…I’ve got to be honest here. I really wasn’t a huge fan of this. The Dumplings…were just so bland. They really didn’t have much flavor at all. I was a quite disappointed. I added a little bit of Penzeys Chicken Soup base to the sauce part because I thought it could use some extra flavor. I don’t know. I think this would be a good base for Chicken Pot Pie…but I just wasn’t diggin’ the dumplings.
I added some onion, shallot, carrot and celery to the chicken stock. I also had to add a corn starch mixture to the sauce to thicken it, because the roux at the beginning just didn’t cut it. And those pearl onions? I would definitely leave those out the next time. I wasn’t a fan of them at all. And we always leave peas out because we do not care for them.
So I would have to say that this week’s recipe was a bit of a disappointment. I wasn’t happy with how it turned out.