Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rosemary chicken and dumplings with vegetables

I was craving 'real food' and also vegetables. This took care of both cravings.

Chicken and broth
6 pieces chicken
1/2 tsp salt (more to taste)
2-3 carrots, sliced OR 1 lg sweet potato, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
2 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1/2 cup cream
fresh rosemary sprigs
freshly ground black pepper

3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary

First, make the chicken and broth. In a large pot, cover the chicken pieces with water. Add salt and rosemary and bring to a boil for 30 minutes.

Remove chicken and let cool a few minutes. While waiting, skim any foam off the top of the broth. When you can handle the chicken, remove meat from bone and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Add meat back to broth. Add vegetables and simmer over medium heat.

While the chicken and vegetable simmers, start the roux. Melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in flour. Let cook, stirring often, until the color of peanut butter. Should take about 15 minutes.

To make the dumplings, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add chopped fresh rosemary. Add melted butter and milk to the dry ingredients. Gently mix with a spoon until mixture just comes together. Don't overmix!

Once the roux has darkened, carefully add 1/2 cup broth and stir to mix. Add another 1/2 cup and mix again. Once smooth, pour roux mixture into broth and stir well. Stir in cream.

Drop dumpling batter into the simmering stew by heaping teaspoonfuls, over the surface of the stew. Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Once you have covered the pan, do not uncover while the dumplings are cooking! In order for them to be light and fluffy, they must steam, not boil.

Serve hot in bowls with freshly ground pepper.

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