Chris Hastings showcases his family's favorite Chicken and Dumplings recipe, taking it to new heights by building fresh and unexpected flavors in the classic Southern dish.
Chicken and Chicken Stock:
1 (3 3/4-lb.) whole chicken
3 carrots, cut into quarters
3 celery ribs, cut into quarters
2 yellow onions, cut into quarters
3 garlic cloves
6 fresh thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound baby turnips, peeled and cut into wedges (about 2 cups)
2 carrots, diagonally sliced
1 cup assorted fresh mushrooms, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 cup red pearl onions
1/2 cup cipollini onions
1 medium leek, split and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 cup cooked, diced bacon
4 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and quartered
How to Make It
Prepare Chicken and Chicken Stock: Bring chicken, next 6 ingredients and water to cover to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 45 minutes or until chicken is done. Remove chicken, reserving liquid and vegetables in Dutch oven. Cool chicken 30 minutes; skin, bone, and shred chicken. Reserve bones; loosely cover chicken, and refrigerate until ready to use.
Place reserved chicken bones into Dutch oven with reserved liquid and vegetables, and cook over medium heat 1 hour. Pour liquid through a wire-mesh strainer into a 3-qt. saucepan, discarding solids. Reserve 1 1/2 qt. chicken stock in saucepan.
Prepare Vegetables: Bring reserved stock to a boil over medium-high heat. Add turnips, carrots, and mushrooms, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from stock. Add red pearl onions and next two ingredients to stock, and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove onion mixture from stock, reserving 4 cups stock.
Prepare Chicken Sauce: Melt butter in a heavy 2-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, whisk in flour, and cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until golden. Increase heat to medium-high, and slowly whisk in 4 cups reserved chicken stock until combined. Cook, stirring often, 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Prepare Dumplings: Pulse flour and next 4 ingredients in a food processor 4 to 5 times or until crumbly. Transfer to a large bowl, and stir in buttermilk and next 3 ingredients, stirring until well blended.
Assemble Chicken and Dumplings: Preheat oven to 400°. Place shredded chicken and vegetables in a 4-qt. baking dish. Pour Chicken Sauce over chicken and vegetables; top with bacon and eggs.
Spoon batter by rounded tablespoonfuls over chicken mixture, gently pressing dumplings down into sauce. Bake at 400° for 25 to 30 minutes or until mixture is bubbly and dumplings are golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes.
For a new twist, Chris bakes his Chicken and Dumplings in the oven and in 2 casserole dishes. We tested in a 4-qt. baking dish and it works equally well. For a thicker Chicken Sauce, increase flour and butter by 1 Tbsp.