published: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Chicken & dumplings
I don't know about you but when I do not feel well anything homemade with chicken will always seem to make me feel a little better, especially chicken and dumplings. I'll bet most of us think that our grandmother's chicken and dumplings are the best in the world, and I'm here to tell you that I feel the same way about mine. I am lucky enough to be 40 years old and still have two grandmothers and two great-grandmothers still living in Hardee and Highlands counties. So, whether it was Granny Watson's, Great Gran Harley's, Grandma Spain's or Me Maw Watson's chicken and dumplings at any family function, the dumplings would always be gone first.
There is just something about getting a bowl of homemade chicken and dumplings that will just make you feel better. I feel like I can taste the love that went into making that dish by these wonderful ladies of our family.
I have a recipe for chicken and dumplings for you this week that is easy and will be a hit at any family function. It's also good if you are not feeling well or if you are just plain old hungry. I suggest making a big batch and having them the following day as well because, like meatloaf and chili, chicken and dumplings are even better the next day.
This recipe will yield enough for 16 portions. Until next time. Cheers, Chef.
Chicken & Dumplings
8 each raw 8 oz. chicken quarters
16 each raw chicken wings
1-1/3 cup grated fresh yellow onions
1-1/3 quart cold water
1/3 cup olive/canola oil, 25/75 blend
1-1/3 tbs. low-sodium chicken base
2-2/3 cup cold water
1-1/3 cup culinary cream or half and half
1-1/3 cup fresh celery, bias cut, 1/4-inch
1-1/3 cup fresh carrots, bias cut
2-2/3 each sprigs fresh thyme
10-2/3 ounce fresh mushroom caps
8 each 2.25-ounce frozen buttermilk biscuits
2/3 tsp. Kosher salt
1-1/3 tsp. finely ground black pepper
Heat a large pot and add the canola oil. Add the pieces of chicken and sear on all side until golden. Sprinkle in the grated onion and stir to turn the mixture, being careful not to let it stick or brown. When each piece is seared, pour in enough water just to cover the pieces of chicken in the pot. The extra wings will add thickness to the broth; the second joint and the tip contain a gelatin substance which will give body to the dish.
Whisk the chicken base into the water, add the base and water mixture to the pot with the chicken. Add the culinary cream (if culinary cream cannot be found, feel free to use half and half). Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and allow to reduce by 25 percent. Add the carrots, celery, thyme and mushrooms to the pot and cook for 5-10 minutes until the carrots are tender.
When the chicken is cooked, remove the pieces and keep warm. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
Cut the biscuits into fourths and drop them into the simmering broth. The sauce will start to thicken slightly and the biscuits will float when done. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
To serve, place half of a chicken quarter and one chicken wing on each plate. Pour the half-cup sauce and two dumplings over the chicken and serve.
Tim Spain is System Executive Chef with Florida Hospital Heartland Medical Center and Morrison Healthcare Food Service. He can be reached at email@example.com/.
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