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Chicken and Dumplings


So we have been waiting for the weekend to make this dish.  I have been thinking about it all week because not only did it sound good but it has dumplings in it!  I have only made dumplings once and the kids loved them.  Thing I wasn’t looking forward to?  Handling raw chicken.  I have issues with it, I am sure Mike could tell you some stories about how I act around raw poultry.  What is worse is when it has the bone in it.

But I pulled on my big girl pants and made this not only because I wanted it but because my family really wanted it!  One thing I noticed is we have had chicken and peas twice this week now, but I heard no complaints.  In the original recipe they used a dutch oven, but since I don’t have one I decided to use a pan on the stove for some of it and the crock pot for rest.  I love my crock pot!

Here is where the original recipe is

http://smittenkitchen.com/2007/12/chicken-and-dumplings/

Chicken and Dumplings

*note you should not use low-fat or fat-free milk in this recipe, and that you should start the dumpling dough only when you’re ready to top the stew with the dumplings.

Serves 6 to 8

Stew
5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Table salt and ground black pepper
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
2 medium leeks , white and light green parts only, cut in half lengthwise and then into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, minced
6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup whole milk
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen green peas

Dumplings

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup whole milk
3tablespoons unsalted butter (or reserved chicken fat)

1. For the stew: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper. Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large pan on the stove over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the browned skin. Pour off the chicken fat and reserve. Return the pan to medium-high heat and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining chicken. Pour off and reserve any chicken fat.  Put all the chicken into the crock pot.  I also put a little of the chicken fat in with it.

2. Add the butter to the pan and melt over medium-high heat. Add the leeks, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour. Whisk in 1/4 cup of the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits.  Pour into the crock pot over the chicken and then pour in rest of the broth, milk, and bay leaves.   Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours until the chicken is fully cooked and tender.

3. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones, then return it to the stew.  *see note below*

4. For the dumplings: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and fat in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.

5. Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and season with salt and pepper.  Gather a golf-ball-sized portion of the dumpling batter onto a  spoon, then push the dumpling onto the stew using a second spoon. Cover the stew with the dumplings, leaving about 1/4 inch between each. When fully cooked, the dumplings will have doubled in size.  Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve.

Note: I found out leaving a bit of the chicken out helped in the dumplings forming.  This recipe really fills the crockpot up to the top and you want to make sure there is enough bubbling liquid to help form the dumplings.

Forgot to take a picture right after it was done, we were all so hungry after smelling it all afternoon!  But here is what was left in the crockpot after dinner and sharing some with the neighbors.


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