Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and dumplings originated in the US south and is a very hearty dish perfect for the winter months. Baking the dumplings in the broth result in little balls of stuffing-like biscuits. The sauce becomes rich, decadent, and full of flavor and is the perfect topping for mashed potatoes.

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1/2 cup flour
5 chicken thighs
5 chicken legs
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery chopped
1 cup carrot, chopped
1 cup leeks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup cremini mushrooms,
3 thyme sprigs
1/2 cup red wine
1/2 cup butter + 2 tablespoons
4 cups stock
Additional salt and pepper

Ingredients – Dumplings
2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons lemon pepper
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons butter, melted

Start by preparing the dumplings. Sift the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the oregano, cayenne pepper, lemon pepper, and salt and whisk together to mix in all the spices. Create a well in the center of the flour mixture and set it aside. In a measuring cup add the eggs and milk and whisk together. Add the melted butter and the chopped onions and blend. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until just blended. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap resting right on the dough and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

While the dumplings are chilling, prepare the stew. Place the flour into a large freezer bag. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place into the freezer bag a few pieces at a time. Close the top of the bag and shake the chicken until fully coated with the flour. Repeat until all the chicken pieces are coated. Do not throw away the remaining flour, it will be added to thicken the sauce. Once your chicken is coated, preheat your oven to 450°F.

In a large cast-iron pot, melt 2 tablespoons of butter along with the olive oil until it is hot but not smoking. Add the coated chicken pieces a few at a time and cook until golden brown on both sides (approximately 10 to 12 minutes). Note: The chicken will not be fully cooked at this point. As the pieces brown, transfer them to a plate and continue with the remaining chicken pieces until all the pieces have been seared. When the chicken is browned, remove half the oil/butter mixture and add the onion, celery, carrot, leek, garlic, and mushrooms. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and add the thyme sprigs. Cook for about 8 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Add the wine, cooking for a few minutes to reduce it to half. Add 1/2 cup butter and stir until melted into the vegetables and wine. Add the flour and stir until the vegetables are coated. Add the chicken broth and stir to incorporate the flour.

Once the flour has been incorporated (and there are no flour lumps), return the chicken pieces into the stock. Using a tablespoon, drop ovals of the dumpling batter into the stock, covering as much of the surface as possible. Note: Some of the dumpling mixtures will melt into the sauce. Cover the pot and place it into the preheated oven. Bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until the stock is reduced and thickened. Allow the stew to rest for 10 minutes once removed from the oven and then serve.

Serves 6 to 8.

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