The first time I remember having chicken and dumplings like this, my boyfriend (now husband) made it for me. The weather had been crummy and he offered to make dinner. How could I refuse!
He looked through a couple of cookbooks, settled on a recipe and went to the market. He handed me the remote, an ice cold beer and told me to stay out of the kitchen.
Over the next three hours I heard pots crashing along with random outbursts and cussing (he was a beginning cook way back then). While it was a little disconcerting, the house smelled so good! Finally he came out of the kitchen, covered in flour and said that dinner was ready. He handed me a big bowl of stew, a fresh beer and took the remote back. Of course.
Fast forward a handful of years.
Now, I want to surprise him with chicken and dumplings. He loves it and has been working long hours. Plus, it’s been cold and stormy outside. The recipe he had used is in a cookbook that is currently living in storage at his parents house in the states.
When I’m in a pinch and I need to find a recipe I generally start at epicurious.com and hope to find something that doesn’t sound too fussy. I found one recipe that sounded ok but I wanted to surf around to see what else was out there. I’ve heard a lot about The Pioneer Woman lately so I hopped over to her site. And sure enough, she has a recipe. And it has cornmeal dumplings! Nom!
I did make a few changes to suit my laziness and the tastes of my family. You can view the original recipe here.
Chicken and Cornmeal Dumplings
PointsPlus Value Per Serving: 13 points when divided into 6 servings/10 points when divided into 8 servings
For the stew:
2 chicken legs & 2 chicken breasts (I had a whole chicken on hand, so this is what I used. I will use the bones, wings and back to make stock)
1 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/2 c flour (for dredging)
1/2 c carrots, finely diced
1/2 c celery, finely diced
1 onion, diced
1 t fresh thyme, minced
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 c apple juice
1/2 c cream
And for the dumplings:
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cornmeal (I used course polenta because I had it on hand)
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 c cream
1 c milk
2 T fresh parsley, minced
- Generously season chicken with salt and pepper.
- Heat oil and butter in soup pot.
- Deeply brown chicken on both sides. I needed to do this in two batches. Set aside.
- If the pot looks a little dry, add a touch more butter or oil, whichever you like best. [Will effect PointsPlus Value]
- Saute onions, carrots and celery for a few minutes until the begin to soften. Stir in thyme.
- Add chicken stock, apple juice and return chicken to pot along with any accumulated juices. Stir.
- Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- While the stew is simmering, make dumplings.
- In a medium sized bowl, stir together dry dumpling ingredients.
- Make a well in the center and pour in milk, cream and parsley. Stir just until combined. Set aside.
- Remove chicken from pot and shred with 2 forks. Or you could leave it whole, I just don’t like dealing with bones in my stew.
- Add shredded chicken back to pot. Stir.
- Add cream. Stir again.
- Taste and adjust seasonings. Add salt or pepper, if necessary.
- Using 2 spoons, scoop a little dough onto one spoon and scrape off into pot using the other spoon. I made golf ball sized dumplings.
- Partially cover pot once all dumplings are in soup and cook for 15 minutes.
- Turn off heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Ladle into bowls.