I feel like everywhere I go lately, all I hear about is Chicken and Dumplings. Last week when I got my haircut, my barber was talking about how his wife was making him homemade chicken and dumplings for dinner. This week on the new Pioneer Woman, she was also making chicken and dumplings. Perhaps it’s because the weather is cooler and this is a hearty and comforting dinner.
I remember making this when I was younger, but I thought to myself – what if I took the best of my chicken soup, homemade chicken pot pie and made my own version of chicken and dumplings? I jazz it up with thyme, dill, bay leaf and some fennel for a more complex flavor. Finished with a wine slurry to thicken the soup, this hearty meal will not disappoint! This dish will leave you feeling warm, full, and most of all – loved by the person who made it for you! I hope you enjoy. Bon Appetit!
1 whole chicken, cut in 8 pieces
1 yellow onion
3 large carrots, diced
3 stalks celery with leaves, diced
1 bulb fennel, diced
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh dill
1 bay leaf
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1.5 quarts homemade chicken stock
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 heaping tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups milk
Bring the chicken to room temperature and sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat 3 tbsp of butter in a large dutch oven such as a Le Creuset. When the butter is hot and bubbly, but before it browns, place a few pieces of chicken skin side down, and brown for 3-5 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside, repeating until all the chicken is browned. Add the remaining butter and add the fennel, onions, carrots, and celery salt lightly and add some pepper. Saute for several minutes, scraping the brown bits from the chicken from the bottom of the pan.
When the veggies are soft, add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and dill. Cook for 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Place the chicken back in the pot, ensuring it’s covered with liquid. Simmer on medium-low heat, partially covered for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is tender.
Remove the chicken from the pot, remove the skin and shred in large shards using two kitchen forks. Discard the bones and skin. Using a small spoon, remove as much of the oil as you can from the top of the soup. In a small container, shake together the wine and remaining flour to make a slurry. Add to the soup to thicken. When the chicken is shredded and the fat removed, return the chicken to the pot.
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, corn meal and salt. Add the milk and mix with a spatula until combined.
With the soup on medium-low heat (just simmering), use two tablespoons and drop big dollops of dumpling into the soup. Sprinkle with parsley and cook covered for 15 minutes. When the dumplings are puffed and cooked, remove the pot from the heat and cook 10 minutes more, covered. Serve in large bowls and enjoy!