Thursday, August 9, 2012

Chicken & Dumplings

I didn't grow up eating chicken and dumplings. My brother remembers that our Mom made this dish once, and that it was delicious. No doubt it was delicious, my Mom is a fabulous cook, but I don't remember it. It's a shame. My husband has fond memories of his Mom making Chicken and Dumplings, I've never had hers, but he raved about Chicken and Dumplings, so I looked for a recipe. I was blown away by passion some people exhibit in the rolled vs dropped dumpling debate.

These are dropped style dumplings, this was the first time I have made them this way. I usually make more rustic, biscuit-like dumplings, which I still prefer. This recipe is slightly adapted from a version I saw Alton Brown prepare on Good Eats. I love that show. The dumplings are prepared differently than in any other recipe I've seen. This dish is very good, that Alton knows his stuff. If I were to make Chicken and Dumplings for company, I think I would use this recipe, the dumplings turn out very uniform. I always add veggies, so it is more of a meal.

2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 t salt
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup peas
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup corn 
7 cups chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, at room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper

Steam veggies. Bring 6.5 cups of broth to a strong simmer.
Put 1/2 cup of the broth, the butter, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium sauce pan, set over high heat, and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, add all of the flour at once and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to come together, approximately 1 minute. Decrease the heat to low and continue stirring until the mixture forms a ball and is no longer sticky, approximately 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and mix, on low speed, for 5 minutes with an electric hand mixer. Beat until cool and there is no more steam rising. Continue to mix on low, and add the eggs, 1 at a time, making sure each is completely incorporated before adding another. Transfer the dough to a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Cut off 1 corner of the bag to make a quarter-sized opening.
Bring the broth to a slight simmer over medium heat. Pipe 1-inch of the mixture and cut with kitchen shears directly over the broth. Repeat with the remaining batter. Cook, covered, until the dumplings are cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the chicken and veggies and wait for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.  Serve up a nice hot bowl with a little pepper.

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