Chicken and Dumplings (Version 2)
Whip up a little comfort food for the family – but remember, only serve this recipe to people you really love, because they’ll all come back again and again for it!
For the poached chicken:
- 2 large cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 6 peppercorns
- A bundle of herbs, such as parsley, rosemary and thyme
- 1 whole chicken (4 pounds)
- Salt and pepper
- A drizzle of canola oil
- 4 slices lean applewood bacon, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 3/4 pound crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 4 large shallots, sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 large leeks, halved lengthwise, cut into 1-inch half moons and washed thoroughly
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 5-6 cups chicken poaching liquid
- 10-12 baby carrots, trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 1/3 pounds haricot verts, trimmed
For the dumplings:
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
Place all of the poaching ingredients in a pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Add salt and simmer at low, rolling boil for 1 hour, turning the chicken once with tongs. Turn off the heat and let chicken cool completely in its own juices.
Discard the skin and bones and slice the chicken into thick pieces; reserve. (You will have more stock than needed for this recipe, store in the fridge for other uses for one week or freeze in a container for up to 6 months.)
Heat a deep skillet with a tight-fitting cover over medium-high heat. Add the oil; when it smokes, add the bacon and brown. Set aside on a plate. Add the mushrooms and brown. Melt in the butter and add the shallots, garlic, salt, pepper, thyme and dill and cook to soften, 7-8 minutes more. Sprinkle in the flour and stir a minute or two more; add the poaching liquid and bring to a bubble. Thicken a bit to make a loose gravy. Add in the carrots and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add in haricot verts and reserved chicken.
Whisk up the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and stir in the eggs and buttermilk. Drop heaping tablespoon dumplings into the chicken and gravy. Cover pan and steam-cook the dumplings for 8-10 minutes.