Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend

Wayne's Weekend: Chicken And Dumplings

Create a new spin on a traditional southern favorite for mother’s day.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    As the calendar heads toward Mother's Day, Wayne Johnson puts a new spin on one of his mother's favorite recipes. (Published Thursday, May 1, 2014)

    One of my favorite dishes growing up was my mom’s chicken and dumplings.  This very southern dish is usually a one pot meal that is somewhere between a chicken soup and a chicken stew with large flour based dumplings floating on top.  I decided to take my mom’s recipe and give it a new look.  This version has virtually the same ingredients but it’s presented more as a layered dish and is assembled just before serving.  It is rich, tasty, and still makes me think of mom every time I make it.

    Chicken and Dumplings
    serves 6-8

    Ingredients

    Chicken and Stock

    1 lg Onion, roughly chopped
    2 Celery Stalks, roughly chopped
    2 lg Carrots, roughly chopped
    4 cloves Garlic, peeled and smashed
    1 tsp Salt
    1 tsp Pepper
    3-4 Rosemary Stalks
    2 Bay Leaves
    3-4 Oregano Stems
    1 whole chicken, cut up, about 4 lbs
    2 Bouillon Cubes
    14 cu Water

    Dumplings

    2 cu All Purpose Flour
    1 tsp Baking Powder
    1/2 tso Baking Soda
    1/4 tsp Salt
    2 tbl cold butter
    1 cu buttermilk
    1/4 cu Chicken Stock
    2 tbl Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped

    Gravy

    1 cu All Purpose Flour
    1/4 cu Cold Butter, cut into small pieces
    6 cu Chicken Stock
    1/4 tsp Pepper

    Carrots

    4-6 lg Carrots, sliced
    1 tbl Butter

    Garnish (optional)

    Additional Chopped Parsley
    Black Pepper

    Method

    Place all of the chicken and stock ingredients into a large stockpot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.  Remove chicken pieces and return stock to a high simmer.  Simmer for 30 minutes to reduce by about 1/4.  Remove from heat, allow to cool, then strain and reserve the stock.  You should have at least 8 cups of stock.  Discard stock vegetables and herbs.  Once chicken has cooled, remove and discard the skin.  Pull chicken from the bones with a fork or your hands, tearing large pieces into smaller ones.  Place in a large casserole, cover with aluminum and set aside.

    To make the dumplings, pour about 2 cups of stock into the bottom of a pot large enough for a steamer basket.  Bring to a low simmer.  Mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Cut butter into flour and mix with your hands until mixture resembles coarse meal.  Add buttermilk, chicken stock and parsley and mix thoroughly.  Using two large spoons, shape dough into 12 oval shaped dumplings by scooping out dough with one spoon and using the other to shape and scoop it onto a lightly oiled steamer tray.  Steam the dumplings in two or three batches by placing a few dumplings in a single or double tiered steamer basket.  Insert the basket into the pot, cover and steam for 15 minutes.  Remove and place the steamed dumplings in the casserole with the chicken and cover until ready to use.  Repeat with remaining dough.

    To make the gravy, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and stir together for about 4 minutes.  Whisk in Chicken stock.  Simmer and stir until gravy thickens, about 10 minutes.  Season with pepper.  If grave is too thick, thin with additional chicken stock.

    Meanwhile, sauté carrots in butter in a saucepan over medium heat for about 7-10 minutes.

    To assemble individual servings, place one or two dumplings in a bowl, top with portion of chicken and carrots.  Spoon gravy over the top and garnish with a bit of parsley and a pinch of pepper.

    If you have any comments or questions, please send me an email at wayne@waynesweekend.com or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.