Chicken and dumplings! My Mom used to make huge pans of this age-old country fave when I was a kid.
It was cheap, filling, and so damn full of country flavour that it's practically obscene. Mom was feeding a raft of kids. SB and I are on our own these days. This recipe is dramatically downsized and the dumplings were jazzed up a bit.
The dumplings I made last evening were chock full of green herbs and grated cheese. Boneless chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots (lots of carrots), onions, celery, and thick, goopy gravy! A convenient step up from Mom's in that there were no chicken bones to pick around, but just as cheap, just as good, and the skeleton of Mom's recipe is intact. Thanks Mom!
Did I tell you how cool it was to fix this in a tagine? I figured it would have the height to let the stew bubble, the dumplings to rise, and the head of steam under the hightop to make perfect dumplings. I wonder if there is such a thing as dumplings in northern African cooking? On a lamb stew or another meat tagine dish, it might be just the thing!
It's supposed to be a cold raw weekend ... get busy!
Chicken and Dumplings for Two
Makes enough for dinner and one leftover serving
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
½ c. flour
liberal sprinkles of paprika, Kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder
3 tbsp. light olive oil
1 large onion, large chop
2 stalks celery, large chop
2 large potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
4 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
3 - 4 c. strong chicken stock
pinch dried thyme
Making the Dish:
- Combine the flour and herbs in a shallow plate.
- Dredge the chicken thighs in the seasoned flour and set them on a plate in the fridge for a few minutes to let the coating set up on the chicken.
- Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat.
- When the oil is very hot, plop the chicken pieces in and let them brown up.
- Turn the chicken pieces and add the onions and celery around them. Let them brown and let the veg begin to wilt.
- Add the 3½ cups of the chicken stock and pinch of thyme, using a spatula to loosen the chicken from the pan, scrape the sticky pieces of flour and the veg off the bottom of the pan.
- Lay the carrots and potatoes over top of the chicken and onions.
- Lower the heat to a slow simmer.
- Cover and cook at a very gentle simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes or until the potatoes and carrots are perfectly tender. Nudge the stew gently a few times to make sure things aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
- Increase the heat just a bit. Mix the remaining seasoned flour with the other ½ c. chicken stock. Stir it into the stew to make a smooth gravy.
- Lower the heat again to a simmer and put together the dumpling dough.
- Spoon the dumplings onto the top of the bubbling stew and cook them for ten minutes uncovered.
- Put the cover back on the stew and cook the dumplings for another ten minutes.
- Remove the cover and serve the stew right from the pan.
1½ c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. Kosher salt
¼ tsp. garlic powder
3 tbsp. butter, cut into the dry mix until it’s gritty
¼ c. fresh chopped parsley
¼ c. grated Cheddar cheese
¾ c. milk
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and garlic powder.
- Cut the cold butter into the dry ingredients.
- Add the chopped parsley and grated cheese, tossing to distribute.
- Add the milk and mix just until the dough comes together.
- Spoon big soup spoons of dumpling dough onto hot stew, leaving a bit of space between each dumpling.
- Cook ‘ten minutes covered, ten minutes uncovered’ over a simmering stew, as Mom would say.