Friday, November 14, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings Revisited

I really like Robin Miller's system, but I'm not always thrilled with her recipes, but I watch her show for ideas. I'm big on her prep ideas - really important when you have an infant in the house! But I saw her make a chicken soup with cornmeal dumplings. Now Ray adores cornbread of all types and I don't mind it. I have a great chicken and dumplings recipe, from Rachael Ray, so what I decided to do was keep the soup as is (wasn't thirlled with Robin's version - too thin - anyway) and try the new dumplings. Definitely a hit! Ray really enjoyed the new dumplings. I still like the original dumplings better, but the new ones were still very good. The sage and the pepper was a nice kick. We'll just alternate the types of dumplings from now on and that will help keep the recipe fresh.

Chicken and Dumplings
Modified from Rachael Ray and Robin Miller

1 1/2 lbs chicken
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib celery, diced [this is a tiny bit of celery and then you have a lot left, so I've been using celery flakes here instead and it works really well. Ray will eat celery in his lunches, but prefers carrots and I find celery too bland. In addition, I just don't like chunks of celery in my soup.]
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1 tsp poultry seasoning
2 tbsp flour
4 cups chicken stock [I actually used 5 cups this time - I like extra broth.]
1 cup green peas [frozen work well here as they thaw in no time]

Dumplings 1 (Rachael's):
1 small box biscuit mix
1/2 cup warm water

Dumplings 2 (Robin's):
2/3 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp dried sage
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk [or 1/2 tbsp lemon juice and the remainder regular milk]
1 tbsp oil

Dice tenders into bite size pieces and set aside. Wash hands.

Place a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add oil, butter, veggies and bay leaf and cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season mixture with salt, pepper and poultry seasonings. Add flour to the pan and cook 2 minutes. Add stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Add chicken to the broth and stir.

You can do either dumpling recipe here. In either case put dry ingredients in a bowl and combine. Add in wet and mix until just combined (this should be pretty thick). Then drop dumplings by the spoonful into the soup. Steam dumplings 8 to 10 minutes. Remove cover and stir chicken and dumplings to thicken sauce a bit. Stir peas into the pan, remove chicken and dumplings from heat and serve.

Serves 4.

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