chicken and chive dumplings

Sir Dave and I battled quite an epic bug over the last few weeks (and not of the Jeff Goldblum variety), so I wanted to make something yummy for dinner that would make us feel a little better. As soon as the idea of chicken and dumplings popped in my head, it was a must-have. Luckily I have this favorite recipe that is fool-proof, super yummy, and likely the cure for the common cold.

I know this recipe may look a little daunting, but I promise it’s really pretty easy given you’re doing a lot of tossing in and stirring. The original recipe is from Tyler Florence, but I’ve made it so many times I tweaked some ratios because I like more of everything. šŸ˜‰

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Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 2 Hours
Servings: 6-8

Ingredients
Chicken and Homemade Stock:
4 large chicken breasts, on the bone (approx. 5 lb total)
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs of thyme
5 black peppercorns
1 head garlic, split through the equator
2 tbs salt

Buttermilk Chive Dumplings:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbs baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 cup buttermilk

Sauce
4 tbs butter
4 tbs oil
4 carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
10 cups chicken stock (this is the stock you made from above)
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen pearl onions
1/2 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
Chopped chives, for garnish

First, for the stock, place the chicken and all stock ingredients into a large Dutch oven and cover with water, ensuring you have at least 11 cups of water and that the chicken is fully submerged. Set the pot over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for one hour to one hour + 15 minutes until the chicken is tender. As it cooks, skim the surface of fat.

Remove the chicken to a cutting board and strain the stock, set aside. Shred the chicken into big pieces, and set aside. This stock is the magic that will be used for the yummy sauce.

Next , to make the sauce, put a dutch oven over medium heat and add the butter and oil. Add the carrot, celery, and garlic, sauteing until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the flour to make a roux and continue stirring for two minutes to coat the flour with the fat in the bottom of the pot and remove the starchy taste. Next up, slowly pour in the chicken stock, one cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Toss in the frozen peas and onions, and simmer for about 15 minutes until the frozen veggies are cooked and the sauce begins to thicken a bit. Then, add the cream and stir well. Add in the shredded chicken and keep the dutch oven at a simmer.

To make the dumplings, sift the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. And in a small bowl, beat the eggs, chives and buttermilk together. Then 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.

Now, time for the fun. I used a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop up the dumpling batter, and a large tablespoon to scoop out the dumpling batter into the bubbling sauce. It should make about 6-8 dumplings. The dumplings should cover the top of the sauce, but should not be touching or crowded (at least that’s what the recipe says – mine are always crowded!). Let the dumplings poach for 15-20 minutes until they are firm and puffy. I flip the dumplings about half-way through. Once it’s all set, plop a big ole’ dumpling in a bowl and douse that sucker with a hefty amount of chicken and sauce. Top with chives and devour! This only gets better with time, so don’t share too much – you’ll want leftovers.

And next up on the blog a new meatloaf for a new year! Woo-woo!

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