Welcome to Fall 2015! Thank you to all who attended Table & Field’s class in September, which focused on comfort food, southern style. In that class we talked about the idea of “basic goodness,” and how that idea played out in the recipes for our fried chicken and our chocolate mayonnaise layer cake. The idea is that with some classic recipes and a few ingredients of good quality, we can all make something that is very satisfying to our hearts and to our stomachs. We promised to extend another classic recipe to you, one for a traditional chicken and dumplings. This is that recipe, and we hope that you make it, without embellishment, and enjoy another recipe that possesses basic goodness. Dust off that beautiful Dutch oven of yours! If there’s anything we love to do in the fall (whenever the weather is cool enough)… it’s to BRAISE!
Chicken and Dumplings
This recipe features fairly basic ingredients, many which you’ll likely have on-hand. It is perfect for its basic goodness and for its simple preparation. Enjoy it, for it’s a marvelous family meal delivered for a small price, full of warmth and tradition.
3 pounds chicken pieces (preferably breasts and thighs)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 sprigs fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash cayenne pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk
Place chicken in a Dutch oven with onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add enough cold water to cover. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender, about 1 hour.
Remove chicken, and let rest until cool enough to handle. Skin and bone chicken, leaving the meat in large chunks; set aside.
Remove bay leaves from the broth, and discard. Skim as much fat as possible from the surface of the broth. Heat broth to a slow steady boil. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir in milk, and beat until stiff. Drop batter 1 tablespoon at a time into the boiling broth. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes. Add reserved chicken, and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. The dumplings should be puffed and the meat warmed through. Garnish with parsley, and serve immediately.
Good luck with this recipe, and happy fall 2015, we look forward to seeing you all and keeping in touch through this site and in our November Thanksgiving Class at Fullerton Arboretum!
Jonathan Dye for Table & Field