And now for something completely different…

We interrupt this Baconfest to bring you this important recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. It’s cold outside, raining, and snow is probably on the way…again. Life in the Mid Atlantic part of the Eastern Coast of Nor-tay Americano. With no St. Bernard, complete with keg of whiskey hanging from the collar, we needed food, soon, and it needed to be tasty and hot. Not one, not the other. It had to be both hot AND tasty. What to do???

Chicken and Dumplings, based on a recipe from Gina Neely from Food Network fame. Don’t just try it – live it!

Step 1:
1 whole chicken, cut up. Don’t even think about throwing out the skin!
6 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon thyme
1 Bay leaf

In a stock pot, simmer all of the ingredients for at least 20 minutes, until the biggest piece of chicken reaches an internal temperature of 185 degrees. No reason to poison anyone so soon… =8>)
When the chicken is done, remove the bird to a different pan, to cool. Remove the bay leaf plus any hunks of skin or bones remaining in the stock pot. Set remaining broth aside.

Step 2:
3 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/8 inch disks
2 celery stalks, chopped, just the green part, no base and no leaf bits, please.
1/2 white onion, chopped.
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup oil

In a sauce pan, saute the vegetables, garlic, and S & P in the oil until onions are translucent.
When done, add to the broth.

Step 3:
Chicken should be cool enough to shred the meat away from the skin and bones. I use two forks to do this. I do the same thing when making shredded pork barbeque, but that’s a different post. Add the chicken bits to the broth.

Step 4:
Turn up the heat on the broth just a bit. You need to get the mixture back up to a slight simmer again.

Step 5:
Time for the dumplings
In a large bowl, mix the following:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Salt and pepper to taste. Put more in than you think necessary. Really, it’ll be alright.

Step 5 1/4:
In a sauce pan, heat up 1 cup of heavy cream and two tablespoons of butter.
Stir well, you don’t want the cream to scald (turn black and fuse to the pan…)
Add thyme, oregano and black pepper to taste. Don’t be stingy. You can buy more later.

Step 5 1/2:
Take the cream off the heat. Add the flour mixture to the cream sauce. Stir with a spatula until a dough blob forms.

Step 6:
Using a small spoon, piece off little bits of dough, about the size of a golf ball, no bigger. These are your dumplings! One at a time, add them to the now simmering broth. Simmer 20 minutes.

Step 7:
Wait. Your 20 minutes aren’t done yet, are they?

Step 8:
Okay, NOW they are done. Ladle some in a bowl. Eat when it is cool enough for your tastebuds!

We now bring you back to your normal Baconfest programming.

Happy Eating!

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