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.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
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