Saturday, November 7, 2009
Wanted to be nice
Dr Food was leaving for India today so last night I decided to make him his comfort food. Don't get me wrong, his favorite food is Indian food but I knew that he was going to eat a weeks worth so I thought that making his comfort food was a good idea. He is from Texas and I knew that his Granny used to make him chicken and dumplings. So, that is what I set out to do. Coming from a totally different background, this isn't something that is familiar to me.
I started off by boiling a chicken to make a rich broth. In with the chicken and 3 quarts water I put in carrots, onions, leeks, parsnips, celery garlic, and bay leaves. I also had salt in there. I let it simmer for 2 hours.
This made around 6 cups of stock. I let cool and then skimmed. I then boned the chicken when it cooled off.
Next use 1 TBL oil and 1 TBL butter and add a couple chopped carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaves and sauted until soft. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly pour in 6 C of the chicken stock, 1 C at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add some frozen peas.
Let sauce thicken for about 15 minutes.
While sauce is thickening I made the dumplings. I used a Tyler Florence recipe for the dumplings and also to see how he thickens the sauce.
2C all purpose flour
1 TBL baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 C buttermilk
Sift the dry ingredients together (oops, *I* didn't sift) in a large bowl. In a small bowl, using a whisk, lightly beat the eggs and buttermilk together; pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold. Mix until the dough comes together. It is a soft dough.
Meanwhile fold the shredded chicken into the sauce and bring up to a simmer. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the hot mixture. Let the dumplings poach for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm and puffy. Remove the bay leaves and season to taste.
Damn, I just realized that the directions I am giving you sound like my grandmothers recipe directions. Lucky you I didn't say "use a handful".