Palate Pleasers

Chicken with Herbed Dumplings

Posted on: February 28, 2010

I love chicken & dumplings.  Mike’s mom has been talking about how she makes them for her great-grandchildren when they come to visit and while I don’t have her recipe just yet, I found one that suited me perfectly and used many of my favorite ingredients to cook with and in.  Plus, it’s really savory and loaded with great flavor – it uses more of my favorite ingredients like Cornmeal and fresh herbs.  One of my favorite cookbooks is the “Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook.”  I love it so much that I actually bought a cast iron skillet and this exact cookbook for one of my sisters…she’s loving it too!  There are so many great recipes in this book and I’m sure  I will probably cook my way through it and blog about each one that I make.   Cast iron is so easy to cook with – I ended up getting myself an enamel coated cast iron dutch oven and use it often too.   I would urge you to prepare everything before you start cooking it.  It will help to keep the prep time down.

Directions:

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used 4 chicken breasts)

Salt & Pepper

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided

3 Tbsp butter

1/2 yellow onion, peeled and diced

4 ounces small white mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed and halved.

1 shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

1/4 Cup all-purpose flour

3 Cups chicken stock

3/4 cup heavy cream (Trader Joes carries this)

1/4 cup dry sherry

2-3 Medium carrots – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 celery stocks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 bay leaf

1/4 tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg

1 tsp finely chopped fresh oregano leaves

1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

3/4 cup frozen peas

HERBED DUMPLINGS:

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

2/3 cup cornmeal

2-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

7 Tbsp chilled butter

3 tsp chopped fresh rosemary

1 Cup whole milk

1/2 tsp kosher salt or fleur de sel

COOKING DIRECTIONS:

  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees
  • To prepare the chicken, rinse the chicken breasts, pat them dry and cut them into 1-inch strips.  Season with salt and pepper and divide into 3 batches.  Heat 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil in a 10 or 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add the first batch of chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides – about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining batches, adding another tablespoon of olive oil for each batch.  Once all the chicken is cooked, set chicken aside.
  • In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.  Add the onion, mushrooms and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions have softened (almost carmelized) – about 5 minutes.  Stir in flour.  Slowly add the chicken broth, cream and sherry, whisking often and bring to boil over medium heat.  Reduce the heat and add carrots, celery, bay leaf, nutmeg, oregano and thyme.  Generously season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for an extra 5 minutes.  Return the chicken strips to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Mix in the peas.

To prepare the dumplings:

  • whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Cut the chilled butter into tablespoon sized slices.  Using a pastry blender and working quickly so the butter remains cold, cut in the butter until the pieces are pea-sized.  (You can also transfer the flour mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the butter and pulse 5 or 6 times)  Gently mix in the rosemary, using your hands or a spatula.  Add the milk and mix gently just until the ingredients are wet and slightly sticky.
  • Using a large spoon, scoop up some of the dumpling mixture and drop it on top of the chicken mixture.  Repeat until all the dumpling mixture is used (you should have about 10 dumplings).  Sprinkle the tops with kosher salt and put the skillet in the oven.  Bake until the dumplings are golden brown – 20 to 25 minutes.  If you want to brown the tops of the dumplings more, brush the tops with melted butter and turn on the broiler for the last few minutes, keeping a close eye on the dumplings at this point.  Serve from the skillet.

 COOK’s NOTE:  Where do I begin…I loved the savory-ness of the dumplings with the cornmeal and the rosemary.    It’s great being able to walk outside and pick the rosemary, thyme and oregano from the fresh herbs growing in my back yard.   The underside of the dumpling will be moist, while the top is hard.  I also made the dumplings in my food processor – it was so much easier than trying to blend with a pastry blender.    Also, I didn’t have fresh mushrooms, but did have a 4 ounce jar of mushrooms and used those.  They worked just as well.  I’m not a big fan of cooked carrots, so I only used 1 carrot and added a bit more celery.   I did add the nutmeg and it blended really well with the cream, sherry and chicken broth.  When this came out of the oven it was more dense than stew like.  There wasn’t any extra broth.  The consistency reminded Mike and me of a chicken pot pie.  So, the next time for me and this time for you – add more broth/water to make it more stew like.  (Maybe an additional 2 cups of broth/water).  Next time I will make it in my dutch oven too.  Mike kept saying that it really had good flavors between the chicken and the dumplings – which it does.  It’s so savory!  We loved it and fortunately there are left overs!  Can’t wait to eat it again.**

Bon Appetit!

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2 Responses to "Chicken with Herbed Dumplings"

Hi, Susan! Found your blog today while reading “Lees on the Go.” This chicken & dumplings sound delish!! One question: the list of ingredients call for 3 tsp (teaspoons) of fresh rosemary for the dumplings; your notes refer to 3 Tablespoons. Which is it?

Thanks – am really looking forward to following you – as a fellow wine-loving foodie, this is right up my ally!

Is it 3 tsp (as noted in the ingredients list) or 3T (as referred to in your notes) of fresh rosemary, for the dumplings?

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