This meal is pure comfort food! It’s also nutritious, with plenty of vegetables and organic chicken. The dumplings can be made with organic whole wheat flour, or left off entirely. The fat can be drastically reduced by using skinless chicken and skipping the browning. Also, the entire recipe can be vegetarian by using vegetable stock and substituting a mixture of beans…or even seitan. Be creative, according to your personal dietary requirements!
Chicken and Dumplings
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 large bay leaf
1/4 cup flour
6-7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 pounds chicken thighs, or breasts, bone-in
1-1/2 cups flour (this can bee half/half whole wheat and white, or 100% of either)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup coarse ground cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup + a splash heavy cream (or milk, or buttermilk)
1/2 cup milk
1-1/2 cups Bisquick
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
In a Dutch oven (or a 5- to 6-quart heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid), heat oil over a medium flame. Brown the chicken pieces, and remove. Discard their skins. If you’re paying attention to fat, pour off all the rendered chicken fat into a safe container, and add a tablespoon or so of olive oil to the pot. Add all the vegetables, garlic, and herbs. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5-10 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the browned chicken back to the pot, then add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low, maintaining a low simmer. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 45-60 minutes.
Meanwhile, make dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining flour, thyme, baking powder, sugar, salt cream. With a fork, gradually stir in milk to form a moist and soft batter. It should be just a little thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of a spoon. Set aside. Note: Quicker dumplings, mix 1 egg with 1/2 cup milk, then add the mixture to 1-1/2 cups Bisquick and stir to combine.
Stir peas into pot. Drop batter in simmering liquid in 12 tablespoonfuls, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell quite a bit as they cook). Wrap lid in a dishtowel (absorbs steam, which can make dumplings soggy), cover pot with lid, and simmer until chicken is tender and dumplings are firm, 12 minutes. Serve!