I got my "new recipe of the month" out of the way on the first day of the month and I didn't even realize what I was doing until I was halfway done!
It's been very dreary, what with the freezing fog and ice, and clouds...and being here at home for DAYS. I'm find with being here, though, because then I can really try new things in the kitchen without feeling rushed! I also made Heath bar cookies using the "Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie" recipe, subbing Heath bar bits (in your baking aisle) for the chocolate chips. Gotta be spontaneous. Flying by the seat of my pants (rule #1, dontchaknow).
Now, of course I made a few changes. Having leftover roasted chicken in the fridge meant I didn't have to poach a chicken. I also bought some stock (Swanson's stock ain't bad, yo) since I wasn't going to be poaching the chicken. The dumpling dough seemed just a teensy bit dry, and I couldn't buy a small container of heavy cream at the store because they were out (I really can't come up with enough uses for the BIG GIGANTIC sized heavy cream cartons!) so I got half and half. I'm assuming it subbed fine as I wouldn't know otherwise! I just splashed in a little more half and half to the dough. Maybe a little too much as they got very sticky, like drop-biscuit dough...which is essentially what they are, anyway.
So, all that lead-in and here's the recipe!
Source: Food Network dot com
Neely's Chicken and Dumplings (Down Home with the Neelys)
* 1 whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
* 6 cups chicken broth
* 1/2 bunch thyme
* 1 bay leaf
* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* Salt and freshly ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon baking powder
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 2 tablespoons salted butter
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley leaves
* 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
* 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
* 2 ribs celery, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
* 3 cloves finely chopped garlic
In a very large saucepan or Dutch oven, add chicken, chicken broth, thyme, and bay leaf to cover. Turn on heat to low and let simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. *Cook's Note: You'll want to poach the chicken on a low simmer and start with cold stock so the chicken cooks evenly.
Once the chicken is cooked, transfer to a 13 by 9-inch casserole dish and let cool. Reserve broth and discard the thyme and bay leaf. When chicken has cooled, shred. Use your hands or a fork and make sure to get all the meat off the bone. Discard the skin and bones.
Add flour, salt and pepper, to taste, and baking powder to a large bowl and whisk together. In a small saucepan, bring heavy cream, butter and herbs to a low simmer then add to the dry ingredients. Stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Using your hands, form dough into dumplings.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add onions, carrots, celery and garlic. Saute until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add reserved broth to Dutch oven with vegetables and add the chicken. Bring to a low simmer. Add dumplings 1 at a time into the simmering soup. Cover pan with a lid and cook for 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste, if necessary.
Perfect winter comfort food :)