Chicken and Dumplings

ChickdumpThe cold weather is coming in.  Chicken and Dumplings is a perfect change of pace from the standard roast chicken.  This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, Staff Meals

I changed a few things and cut the recipe in half.  Only the family here, not a whole staff.

1 chicken, cut up or just cut up pieces of your favorites like thighs, breasts or wings
canola or vegetable oil
2 onions diced
1 cup white wine
3 cups chicken stock or water
1 tsp. dried thyme
3 bay leaves
1 tsp. pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
carrots – cut into 1/4 inch slices or a bag of small carrots
1 cup frozen peas
1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. flour

Dumplings
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking power
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk

You need a large Dutch oven for this.  I used my big Le Creuset pot.  Every kitchen should have one.  Cover the bottom with oil and heat over a high flame.  Add the chicken parts, not touching, and brown each, about 2-4 minutes per piece.  Take out each out and set aside.  Add the onions, and reduce to medium, saute until soft.  Return the chicken to the pot.  Add the wine.  Increase the heat back up to high and reduce the wine by half.  About 4-5 minutes.  Add in the chicken stock.  I took the thyme, bay leaves, pepper and cayenne and put them in a small cheese cloth bag and into the liquid.  This way only the flavor gets into the broth.  Bring to boil, turn to low and partially cover for about 45 minutes or until the chicken is almost done.

In the meantime, make the dumplings.  Put the dry ingredients together and pour in the milk.  Use a fork to get the batter thick.  Make small dumplings and set aside.  They expand. 

Now, take the 1 T. butter and the 1 T. flour and mix them together to create a small dough like ball.  This will be used to thicken the broth.  This is called a buerre manie.

Once the chicken is almost cooked, add in the carrots and peas and cook for about 15 more minutes. 

Take out the chicken.  Take out the bay leaves.  Put in the butter/flour ball and whisk.  This will make the
liquid thicker.  Return the chicken to the thickened broth.  Add in the dumplings.  Try to spread them around.  They expand.  Put the heat on low.  Takes about 15 minutes or so until the dumplings are done. 

Serve warm.  I used soup bowls.  Take out a piece of chicken and pour the dumplings and sauce over the top.  Voila!