Victor decided to try his hand at a dish fairly foreign to his Italian heritage – Chicken and Dumplings.
This is something I remember well from my own childhood. My mom made drop dumplings all the time – and my grandmother made rolled dumplings that were like big, thick, pasta noodles. I can taste both of them right now…
But fast-forward 55 or so years, and here is Victor making his first attempt – and hopefully not his last. These were delicious!
I had cooked a whole chicken a couple of days ago, so the basics – broth and chicken – were in the ‘fridge. It was the art of pulling it all together and making light as air dumplings that made it so extraordinary.
He did a lookup of ideas and found a Martha recipe that was promising. He adapted it to what he had already, but here’s the Martha concept. Play with it.
Chicken and Dumplings
adapted from Martha Stewart
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 5 medium carrots, cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, or 3/4 teaspoon dried dill weed
- 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup cream
- 2 cups frozen peas
In a Dutch oven or heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid, heat butter over medium. Add onion, carrots, and thyme. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
Add 1/4 cup flour and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly; season with salt and pepper. Nestle chicken in pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make dumplings: In a medium bowl, whisk together remaining 3/4 cup flour, dill, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. With a fork, gradually stir in 1/2 cup milk to form a moist and soft batter. It should be just a little thicker than pancake batter and should easily drop from the tip of a spoon. (Add additional 2 tablespoons milk if too thick.) Set aside.
Stir peas into pot. Drop batter in simmering liquid in 10 heaping tablespoonfuls, keeping them spaced apart (dumplings will swell as they cook). Cover, and simmer until chicken is tender and dumplings are firm, 20 minutes. Serve.
It was really, really good – even Nonna cleaned her plate – except for the peas. The dumplings really were light as feathers. Little clouds floating in a silken sauce. Outstanding!
It’s a really great, comforting meal. Give it a try!