October 3, 2012

Chicken and dumplings, revisited

I know the meal plan totally said burger night for today, but Zach was so hungry at lunch today, we went out for 5 Guys and decided to make dinner. I thought about everything we had in the fridge and freezer, and realized we had everything needed for chicken and dumplings!!! Here's how I did it.

Chicken and dumplings
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs
  • about 12 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of Emeril's Essence
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • a couple tablespoons of white wine
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp. baking powder
  • dash of salt
  • 1 tablespoon cold butter
  • slightly less than 1/2 cup milk

Put your chicken thighs in the water with a dash o' salt. Turn the heat up to a medium-low setting and let those babies cook for a while, until chicken reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Add your Essence shortly after the water starts to bubble.
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it to a plate and let it cool off a bit. Once it's cooled some, pluck the meat off the bones and pull it into nice small pieces. Strain your water (that has become chicken broth, you genius you!) through a sieve into a bowl, so you don't have as much junk floating in the broth. Save back about 6-7 cups for your meal, and freeze the rest. Put the newly-strained 6-7 cups of broth back into the pot and get it back up to simmering. Add your vegetables and garlic; let them soften a bit.
Meanwhile, you can prep your dumplings. Put your flour, baking powder and salt into the food processor. Add the butter and pulse until it looks like a fine crumbly mixture. Stream in the milk while the processor is running, keep mixing until the dough forms a ball. Turn out your very sticky dough-ball onto a very floured surface and roll the dough out to about 1/4" thick. Slice into little squares, about 1" or so.
Pop the wine into the simmering veggies, and then start dropping in raw dumplings, one at a time (to avoid them sticking together). Once the dumplings are all in, go ahead and add your chicken. Taste your broth and season as needed. Serve hot alongside some cornbread!

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