Monday, November 13, 2006

Chicken and Dumpling Stew

Hi there... remember us? We're back and we're going to again be posting our recipes on The Boston Chef. We're excited to get back into the swing of things on our blog and we have a long New England Fall and Winter ahead to find, cook, and post new recipes! Thanks for visiting!

Chicken and Dumpling Stew

We've been wanting to make this old recipe of ours in our new kitchen for quite some time. Finally the weather, our plans, AND our mood allowed for it. This is a recipe that's been passed down from my French-Canadian Memere to my Mom, to me, and although it is somewhat simple and subtle on taste, it is one of the most comforting of the comfort foods out there. This stew is also a meal that freezes well, so if you like to make meals in bulk, this is a winner!

We boiled a whole chicken (5-7lbs) for about 45 minutes, then removed chicken to cool - saving that delicious chicken broth that the water has now become. With a ladle, it's pretty easy to trim off much of the fat that floats to the surface. Our seven-pound bird was HUGE!

With the chicken out and cooling, we started our now-skimmed broth boiling again and added 3-5 boiling onions, a few bay leaves, 4-6 chicken bouillion cubes to bolster the flavor, and S&P, thyme and rosemary and let that go to reduce down and concentrate the flavors...

Now that the chicken has cooled, it's time to start dismantling - removing skin and bones and shredding the chicken into little chunks. Then, after pulling out about 1 cup of the broth for later use with the dumplings, we put the chunked chicken, celery and carrots back into broth and brought back up to a boil for about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, we peeled 3-5 Yukon Gold potatoes and cut them up into 1-inch cubes - the bigger the bitesize the better because you don't want them to overcook. The pototoes go in after that 15 minutes and we started in on the dumplings:

Roughly 2 cups flour, 2Tbs baking powder, 1 tbs onion powder, S&P... and slowly work in cup of reserved broth. Dumpling mix should be sticky but not overly wet. Using 2 spoons, drop the dumplings into the pot. If your dumplings puff up too much, you can always halve them while they're in the pot. They shouldn't be bigger than about 2 inches.

Your stew is done once the dumplings sink, but do cut one in half to make sure they 're cooked all the way through before serving!

Delicious and warm comfort food for a cold, rainy day in Boston!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I also cook the French Canadian dumplings (though a little different than yours) handed down from my memere. We have always called them "poutines", but as I'm sure you know, it is nothing close to what Canadians call poutine (that gravy and fries creation). What did your family call the dumpling?