Wednesday, May 25, 2011

.Chicken & Dumplings.

Gwynie {remember my BFF, Gwyneth Paltrow} promised that this dish would vanish. She said that there are 'never any leftovers' because this dish is so good. And you have to trust your Best Friend, right?
So I did. And may I say that trusting your BFF is truly CORRECT!
This dish scored major points at the Trebaczkiewicz's household. 
It has that homey, make-you-wanna-stay-indoors feel, but isn't packed down with all the fatty ingredients that usually accompanies those types of {*delicious} meals. And BONUS: It made my house smell absolutely Scrumptious. AND DOUBLE BONUS: This dish basically makes you have a glass of wine while you eat it! It's practically written as part of the preparation!
I simply paired it with a fresh salad of Spinach, Tomatoes, Red Onion, and Avocado.
So here it is straight from my BFF's mouth {err, rather from her new cookbook "my father's daughter", but we all know she would have told me in person the next time we had a little one-on-one time, right?!}
Chicken & Dumplings 
1 Organic Whole Chicken
Coarse Salt
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 Large Carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Small Leek, roughly chopped
1 Slice Duck Bacon, finely chopped {**I used Back Bacon}
1 Dried Bay Leaf
1 Tsp Fresh Thyme
1/2 Cup White Wine
2 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Stock
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Flour
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 Cup plus 1 Tsp Half-and-Half
1/2 Tsp Fine Salt
1) Preheat oven to 400F.
2)Wash and dry the chicken. Cut the chicken into approx. 10 pieces. Aggressively season the chicken pieces with coarse salt and pepper.
3) Heat the butter and olive oil in the largest, widest oven-safe pot you have )at least 12" in diameter, with a lid) over medium-high heat. Thoroughly brown the chicken pieces, in batches if necessary (7-8 minutes per side), and remove to a plate, leaving the fat in the pot. 
4) Add the vegetables, bacon,  bay leaf, and thyme to the pot and cook for 15 minutes over medium-low heat. 
5) Return the chicken to the pot. Add the white wine, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes.
6) Add the stock and water, bring to a boil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat, cover the pot with a piece of parchment paper and place the lid on top. Cook the chicken in a 400F oven for 1 1/2 hours.
7) Meanwhile, combine the flour, baking powder, half-and-half, and the fine salt together in a bowl. 
8) Take the pot out of the oven, discard the parchment, and scoop large spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture on top of the chicken mixture - you should end up with about 10-12 dumplings. Cover the pot and put back in oven for 10 minutes.
9) Spoon (and really soak) sauce over dumplings, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
10) Sprinkle with parsley, and a bit more black pepper. Serve immediately, being sure to spoon plenty of the juices over each portion (the dumplings will need this!!).

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