Monday, March 5, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe

I had the opportunity to try some chicken and dumplings recently that I fell in love with and wanted to tell everyone about it.  The recipe is from Chef Jake Schmidt, Chef de Cuisine of the Blue Ridge Dining Room at The Grove Park Inn.

The chicken and dumplings are rich with a thick brown sauce full of flavor.  They do have some vegetables that you can swap out for your favorites to personalize the dish.  The option of adding your favorite hot sauce is another great way to tweak the recipe for different occassions and taste preferences.

Of course, the dish only gets better eating it a day or two after you make it.  Its great comfort food and is a great winter time recipe that will help warm you from the inside out.  

Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
Serves 8-10, Prep and Cook Time +-2 hours

      3 gallons chicken stock
      3 onions, medium diced
      1 head celery, washed and medium diced
      6 carrots, peeled and medium diced
      6 whole chicken legs and thighs, bone in skin removed
      1 bunch of fresh thyme
      Salt and black pepper
      Tabasco or any other hot sauce
      1 pound butter
      1 pound flour

Method: In a large non-reactive pot sauté the onions, celery and carrots in the butter. When the vegetables are soft add the flour and cook for 10 minutes stirring constantly as to not burn or stick to your pan. While this is working in a separate non-reactive pot slowly poach (gently simmer) the chicken legs and thighs in the chicken stock with a bunch of thyme till the chicken is fully cooked. Remove the chicken and allow to cool slightly until you can pull the meat off the bones with your hands, reserve the meat. Strain the stock and then add it to the vegetable and roux pot, simmer for twenty minutes.

      2 cups flour
      4 teaspoons baking powder
      1/4 teaspoon baking soda
      3/4 teaspoon salt
      2 tablespoons butter
      2 tablespoons shortening
      1 cup buttermilk, chilled

Method: In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into dry ingredients until mixture looks like crumbs. (The faster the better, you don't want the fats to melt.) Make a well in the center and pour in the chilled buttermilk. Stir just until the dough comes together. The dough will be very sticky.

Turn dough onto floured surface, dust top with flour and gently fold dough over on itself 5 or 6 times. Roll till it is a half an inch thick. Cut the dumplings into 1 inch by 1 inch squares, being sure to push straight down through the dough. Drop dumplings into the chicken base and cook for about 20 minutes till they are fully cooked. (They will float for awhile, just stir and when they are fully cooked they will sink slightly).

Season the Chicken and Dumplings with salt, black pepper and hot sauce.

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