Chicken and Dumplings, adapted from Jane Maynard’s recipe on thisweekfordinner.com
7 T butter (divided into 3 T and 4 T)
1/2 – 1 onion, diced
5 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 T fresh thyme
3/4 c flour (divided into 1/4 c and 1/2 c)
1 can (14-1/2 oz) low-sodium chicken broth
Coarse salt, and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 c milk
1/2 t salt
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
In a dutch oven or heavy 5-quart pot with a tight-fitting lid, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, and thyme. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add 1/4 c flour; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper to taste. Add chicken to pot, reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
Dumplings: While the chicken is cooking, melt 4 tablespoons butter in a heavy skillet. Add milk and bring to a boil. Add 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 tsp salt, whisk well. (The mixture will be pasty and sort of difficult to whisk, just mix it the best you can so the butter and flour are incorporated.) Remove from heat and let sit for 2 minutes. Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time – beat fast and hard.
Once chicken has been cooking for 20 minutes, stir in peas. Raise heat to return to a simmer, then drop dumpling batter into the soup by tablespoonfuls, evenly spaced throughout the pan. (They grow while they cook, so be sure to space them out.) Reduce heat so soup maintains a simmer, cover and simmer for additional 20 minutes, until chicken is tender and dumplings are firm. Stir occasionally with a small spatula so as not to disturb the dumplings too much.
Well, if you couldn’t tell from my intro, this turned out great! Such a yummy comfort food — not exactly a spring dish, but with the weather we’ve been having up here in the NW, it was perfect.
I know I post a lot about cutting onions, but this was the best cutting yet. And I learned that my eyes are far less sensitive if I’m wearing my contacts.
I had to cut up raw meat, too. It wasn’t horrible, so I think I’m slowly but surely de-sensitizing myself. Yay!
I was a little concerned about the Dumpling batter – it looked kind of crazy when making it (no pics, sorry). It was lumpy and really hard to mix. But in the end, it was fantastic (not the least bit soggy). It wasn’t what I was expecting, but it tasted great.
The only thing I’d change for next time would be that I’d probably double my dumplings — because it didn’t even come close to covering the chicken mixture. Other than that, it was a complete success.
The flavor was heavenly. Perfect for a rainy, hailing, and unseasonably cold day. Enjoy!