Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

I will be the first to admit that this particular dish is a lot of work.  It is definitely a commitment.  But, it is also so incredibly worth it.  It is comfort food at it's finest.  This meal is as hearty and as filling as you can get. It is rich and creamy and just plain wonderful.  The best part is the white pepper.  It adds a great kick that pulls the flavor back around. And there is no better way to compliment it than to be accompanied by some of my Baked Apples.  They give it a nice sweet and spicy contrast that brightens everything up.
3 1/2-4 lb. whole chicken
1/2 lb. of whole baby carrots (washed/ peeled)
2 stalks of celery (chopped)
1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (peeled)
3 chicken flavored bouillon cubes
sea salt
2 tsp. of white pepper
2 tsp. of dried parsley
2 bay leaves
1 cup of milk
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour

2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 tsp. of salt
3 tsp. of baking powder
2/3 cup of milk

-Rub chicken lightly with salt and place in a 4 qt. stockpot.  Add in carrots, celery, onion, garlic cloves, bouillon cubes, 1/4 tsp. of salt, white pepper, parsley and bay leaves.  Fill pot about 7/8ths of the way with water; cover with a lid and cook on low-medium heat for at least 2-2 1/2 hours.  Once chicken is fall-apart tender, transfer it to a plate to cool, leaving veggies in stock.  Add 2 cups of water to the stock; cover and simmer.  Meanwhile, for the dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in milk just until combined.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface and need until firm.  Toss a kitchen towel over it and let it stand for 15 minutes.  Remove good meat from chicken and add the strained veggies to it on the plate.   Then remove towel from dough and roll out to about 1/4" thick.  Using a pizza cutter, cut short ribbons into the dough.  Allow to stand again at this point for 45 minutes more (this slightly dries them, keeps them from sticking together in the pot).  Return strained stock to a rapid boil.  Drop in a few dumplings at a time, allowing the stock to return back to a rapid boil before each new batch is dropped in.  Once all the kiddies are all in the pool (dumplings),  add back in your chicken and veggies. Whisk together the milk and flour  in a small bowl to add in to thicken the stock.  Continue to boil for a few minutes, then reduce heat.  Cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes before serving.  Serves 6.  Enjoy!

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