August 18, 2009

Chicken and Dumplings

Growing up in Southern California I grew up eating things like Mexican food, seafood, fresh produce -- your typical California cuisine. Unfortunately, I did not have the pleasure of trying true southern cuisine until a few years ago on my first trip to Georgia -- and that was it, I was hooked. From that day forward I would dream of cheesy grits, real macaroni and cheese, and savory chicken and dumplings...HEAVEN.

This was my first attempt at mastering the comforting and delicious dish of Chicken and Dumplings. My goal - the rich, creamy chicken and dumplings served at a true Southern landmark -- Cracker Barrel.

Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Broth
* About 9 cups water
* 1 3-4 pound chicken cut up
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1 small onion sliced
* 3 stalks celery, chopped
* 1 carrot, chopped
* 2 clove garlic, peeled and quartered
* 2 bay leafs
* 3 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

* 2 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 3/4 cup buttermilk
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , melted
* 1 large egg white

1. Saute veggies about 3 minutes. Add cut-up chicken, salt and pepper and saute about 2 minutes. Add water, enough to cover all the chicken and veggies. (You will need at least 6 cups of stock in order to make the dumplings) and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook the chicken, uncovered, for 2 hours. Scrape the scum from the top as needed. The liquid will reduce by about one third.
3. When the chicken has cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside. Strain the stock to remove all the vegetables.
4. Pour 6 cups of the stock back into a pot. I use a large saute pan to give more surface area for the dumplings. Add the lemon juice, then reheat the stock over medium heat while preparing the dumplings.

1. Whisk flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps; whisk in egg white. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.
2. Cut the dough into 1/2 inch squares and drop each square into the simmering stock. Use all of the dough. The dumplings will first swell and then slowly shrink as they partially dissolve to thicken the stock into a white gravy. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until thick. Stir often.
3. While the stock is thickening cut the chicken meat into bite-size pieces and drop them into the pot. Continue to simmer the chicken and dumplings for another 5-10 minutes.

IT WORKED!!! Thick, rich, creamy, wonderful Cracker Barrel style Chicken and Dumplings! Now I don't have to wait for my trips to Georgia to have a real southern meal!

No comments:

Post a Comment