Saturday, January 13, 2007

Chicken and Dumplings

What I Made: Chicken and dumplings from a recipe by Paula Deen minus her dumplings, instead using a dumpling recipe from Emeril Lagasse.Why: Another hearty and warming dish for a winter evening at home. I was pretty sure this would be a hit with my comfort food-loving husband.

What I Did:

2 shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 chicken legs
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. fresh thyme
2 (14 ounce) cans chicken stock
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of celery soup

1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tbsp. minced fresh soft herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, and green onion tops
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 cup milk

Heat the olive oil in a large pot and saute shallots, garlic, celery and onion. Add chicken, bay leaf, thyme and chicken stock and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer the chicken until it is tender and the thigh juices run clear, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and, when it is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and separate the meat from the bones. Return the chicken meat to the pot along with the cream of celery soup. Keep warm over low heat.

Prepare the dumplings: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, herbs, baking powder, and salt together. In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the butter and milk to a simmer. Add the butter and milk mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork until the mixture just comes together. Drop batter by spoonfuls into stew. Cover and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes.

To serve, ladle chicken, gravy, and dumplings into warm bowls.

Serves 4.

Review: It was a hit with my husband who declared he could eat it almost every night of the week. It was better than I thought it would be. The only part I didn't like was removing the chicken, waiting for it to cool then shredding it. I took my time though and didn't burn my fingers. This step does make for an easier to eat meal - all you need is a spoon.

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