I came down with a nasty, nasty cold recently. Or, more accurately, S. gave me a nasty, nasty cold. On the plus side, when I was lying in bed, moaning pathetically about how my eyes hurt and every muscle in my body ached and how much I missed breathing, she offered to make me chicken and dumplings in recompense for infecting me.
No fool I, I promptly wrote up the recipe and gave it to her, and a few hours later, there was chicken and dumplings for me to eat, and I hadn’t had to touch a single ingredient. (Which was doubly good, because it meant that everyone could eat it, rather than having to quarantine the pot.)
Chicken soup is a classic cold remedy, and it seems that SCIENCE! backs up the claims of Jewish grandmothers everywhere. My mother never made chicken and dumplings, but I’ve grown to love it, now that I’ve figured out how to make light, fluffy dumplings, and decided that I prefer turkey to chicken in this case. It’s more flavorful, and when you’re stuffed up, tasting anything is hard enough.
photograph by KellyK
Boneless chicken or turkey thighs, diced
Garlic cloves, sliced
Carrots, cut into discs (or baby carrots)
Celery stalk, sliced into thin half-moons
Russet potato, diced
Salt, pepper, parsley, etc., to taste
1/2 package frozen baby peas, thawed
Dumpling dough (below)
Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add sliced onion. Sauté until soft. Add sliced garlic, sauté one minute. Salt and pepper lightly. Add carrots, celery slices, and potato, stir, sauté two minutes. Add diced chicken or turkey, stir, sauté until the outside of the chicken does not look raw. Barely cover with cold water, chicken stock, and white wine, in whatever combination pleases you. Cover pot. Bring to boil, lower heat, simmer 45 minutes. Taste broth, adjust salt-and-pepperness. You may need to smush up the potato bits with a fork on the back of a wooden spoon; they’re in there to make the broth thicker. Drop dumpling dough into simmering stew by heaping teaspoons, covering the surface. Cover. DO NOT UNCOVER FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES. Dumplings should be dry on top, or you can check with a toothpick. Serve hot.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons softened butter
¾ cup milk
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt. (if you’ve got stray parsley, this is a good place to use it, rinsed & chopped.) Add butter and milk. Mix until just combined (overmixing will make the dumplings tough).