Chicken and Herb DumplingsMarch 21, 2017 By Cathy — 14 Comments
Food for the soul! Creamy, hearty chicken stew topped with fluffy herbed dumplings…this is the kind of comfort food that makes you wish for rain.
We’re a biscuit family. That’s not code for some adorable family-ism that we share (though we may have one or two of those too). No this is the straight truth. We love biscuits. All of us. When out for breakfast if given the choice between, toast, bagels, muffins or biscuits…it’s a solid four votes for biscuits. (Outside of those occasions when my 12 year old carbo-loads and opts for toast and a biscuit.)
My favorite biscuits are light, tender, topped with a smear of butter and maybe a drizzle of honey. But I’m an equal opportunity biscuit-er…I’ll happily serve them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Biscuits with eggs, smothered in gravy, alongside a bowl of soup or split and stacked with whipped cream and berries.
So, now that I have you craving biscuits, my apologies, because that’s not the recipe I’m sharing today. I’m not being spiteful, in fact, I’m feeling a little generous. This recipe is actually a two-fer. It’s a creamy, hearty chicken stew topped with fluffy, herb-flecked dumplings. Which, if you’ve never had them before, are basically biscuits that cook right on top of the stew.
After the stew is cooked and simmering, you simply take heaping spoonfuls of the dumpling batter and dollop them right on top, cover tightly and let them do their thing. They cook by steaming, instead of baking in the oven. They puff and cover the stew with a wonderfully fluffy, biscuity topping.
Now, because they steam, these won’t have a top or bottom crust, they’re more like the soft center of a biscuit. They’re tender and light and require only a spoon and a healthy appetite.
Now I know that we just welcomed spring and this dish screams cold weather, but we’re not out of the woods just yet. The snow is melting, but I’m not breaking out my flip flops. And since I’d have to wear my boots to grill I decided to give you one more bowl of comfort. That, and I also promised some close friends that I served this dish to well over a year ago that I’d get it on the blog. So better late than never. And I might say the same to spring!
- Chicken Stew
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs (or a combo)
- salt and pepper
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp chicken base (optional)
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- ⅔ cup dry white wine
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced into ½ inch rounds
- 3 stalks celery, sliced into ½ pieces
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp fresh thyme, minced
- 2 tsp fresh parsley, minced
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cornmeal
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, chives)
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1 cup buttermilk
- *minced herbs for garnish
- Chicken Stew: Melt the butter and oil over med/high heat in a large, heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven.
- Season the chicken well with salt and pepper and place in the pot. Cook on one side for 6-8 mins or until golden brown. Flip the chicken and cook another 6-8 mins or so until cooked through and golden brown. Reduce the temperature if the chicken begins to brown too quickly.
- Remove the chicken to a plate to cool and add the diced onion to the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 4 mins.
- Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 more mins.
- Stir in the chicken base and flour and cook 1-2 mins. Whisk in the wine and cook until fully reduced, 1-2 mins.
- Whisk in the stock and the milk and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer over very low heat and stir in the carrots and celery. Cover.
- Shred the chicken and add to the pot along with the salt and pepper. Simmer, covered, for about 30 mins.
- Stir in the herbs and the peas.
- Dumplings: In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and herbs.
- Stir in the butter and the buttermilk. Stir until just combined, don't over-mix.
- Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dumpling mixture and place on top of the stew, leaving a little space between the dumplings (they will grow in size). You will get about 24 dumplings.
- Cover and cook over low heat for about 15 mins. The dumplings will cook in the steam, so don't lift the lid.
- Ladle into bowls to serve and sprinkle with herbs if desired.