THE BEST CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 broiler/fryer chicken (about 3 pounds), cut up
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery ribs, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine or apple cider
2 teaspoons sugar
2 bay leaves
5 whole peppercorns
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup 2% milk
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
additional salt and pepper to taste
In a shallow bowl, mix 1/2 cup flour, salt and pepper. Add chicken, one piece at a time, and toss to coat; shake off excess. In a 6-qt. stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Brown chicken in batches on all sides; remove from pan.
Add onion, carrots and celery to same pan; cook and stir 6-8 minutes or until onion is tender. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute longer. Stir in 1/4 cup flour until blended. Gradually add stock, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, sugar, bay leaves and peppercorns. Return chicken to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 20-25 minutes or until chicken juices run clear.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk milk and melted butter until blended. Add to flour mixture; stir just until moistened (do not overmix). Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet; set aside.
Remove chicken from stockpot; cool slightly. Discard bay leaves and skim fat from soup. Remove skin and bones from chicken and discard. Using two forks, coarsely shred meat into 1- to 1-1/2-in. pieces; return to soup. Cook, covered, on high until mixture reaches a simmer.
Drop dumplings on top of simmering soup, a few at a time. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of dumplings comes out clean (do not lift cover while simmering). Gently stir in cream, parsley and thyme. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Yield: 8 servings
Photo: James Gillespie-Blaauw