This is my 100th post (I’m so excited!), so I decided to write about one of my favorite dishes. Today’s recipe is Chicken and Dumplings from the April 2006 issue of Everyday Food. I *love* dumplings (maybe it’s the Czech in me?) and this is quintessential comfort food.
I started by melting 3 tablespoons of butter in my Dutch oven over medium heat. (If you don’t have a Dutch oven, a 5-to-6 quart pot with a tight-fitting lid will do.) I added 1 medium onion (cut into 1-inch pieces), 5 medium carrots (cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces), and 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme. I covered the vegetables and cooked, stirring occasionally, until the onion was soft (about 5 minutes). Next, I added 1/4 cup of flour and cooked, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. I added 1 can (14.5 ounces) of reduced-sodium chicken broth and brought everything to a boil, again stirring constantly. I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper and then nestled 1 1/2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (cut into 2-inch pieces) in the pot. I reduced the heat to medium-low, covered the pot and cooked the chicken and vegetables for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
While the chicken and vegetables cooked, I made the dumplings. In a medium bowl, I whisked together 3/4 cup of flour, 3/4 teaspoon of dried dill, 1 3/4 teaspoons of baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. With a fork, I gradually stirred in 1/2 cup of milk to form a moist, soft batter. (The recipe says it should be slightly thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of a spoon; you can add up to 2 more tablespoons of milk if it’s too thick.) I set the bowl aside.
When the 20 minutes of chicken/vegetable cooking time had passed, I stirred 10 ounces of frozen peas into the pot. Then, I dropped the dumpling batter in heaping tablespoonfuls into the simmering liquid, taking care to keep them spaced apart since they swell considerably during cooking. (The recipe says you’ll have 10 dumplings; I ran out of batter after 8.) I re-covered the pot and simmered everything until the chicken was tender and the dumplings were firm, 20 minutes.
Seriously, if you’re looking for comfort food, there’s just nothing like this. Fluffy dumplings, tender vegetables, flavorful chicken… Yum. I especially like the thyme in the sauce and the dill in the dumplings.
TIPS: Be sure to buy *boneless,* skinless chicken thighs. I wasn’t paying attention at the grocery store and bought skinless, bone-in thighs, so I had the chore of cutting the meat away from the bone during my food prep.
Recipe link: Chicken and Dumplings