Impress your family with this rich and creamy Chicken and Dumplings recipe, they'll never believe you made it from scratch!
"I wanted to create a chicken and dumplings recipe that was creamy, rich, and thick without all of the fat of traditional versions. Thickening the base was the challenge. Relying solely on cornstarch produced a gluey consistency and thin flavor, and using all flour created pasty results. So I settled for a little of each to achieve the thickness and texture I wanted. Toasting the flour, a process similar to making a dry roux, added some richness. Then I finished the dish with a splash of cream for flavor." -Kathryn Conrad
1 (4-pound) whole chicken
3 quarts water
3 cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
10 garlic cloves, peeled
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (about 6 3/4 ounces)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
To prepare stew, remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water, and place chicken in an 8-quart stockpot. Add 3 quarts water and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaves); bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes; skim surface occasionally, discarding solids. Remove chicken from pot; cool. Strain stock through a sieve into a large bowl, and discard solids. Remove chicken meat from bones; tear chicken meat into 2-inch pieces, and store in refrigerator. Let stock cool to room temperature.
Pour stock into two zip-top plastic bags. Let stand 15 minutes. Working with one bag at a time, snip off a corner of bag; drain liquid into stockpot, stopping before fat layer reaches opening. Discard fat. Repeat procedure with remaining bag. Bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 8 cups (about 15 minutes).
Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon 1/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour to pan; cook 1 minute or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Combine browned flour and cornstarch in a large bowl; add 2/3 cup stock to flour mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to remaining stock in pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cream. Add chicken; keep warm over low heat.
To prepare dumplings, combine 1% low-fat milk and egg in a medium bowl. Lightly spoon 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add flour mixture to milk mixture, stirring with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened.
Drop one-third of dumpling batter by 8 heaping teaspoonfuls onto chicken mixture. Cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the dumplings are done (do not allow chicken mixture to boil). Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon; place in a large serving bowl or on a deep serving platter; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining dumpling batter.
Remove pan from heat; slowly pour stew over dumplings. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.