Everyone should know how to make chicken and dumplings. It is a cheap, nutritionally complete meal which all occurs in one pot. This is the ultimate comfort food, and is also the perfect illness recovery food. Look at this:
Chicken and Dumplings:
Makes something like 6 servings, or perhaps more. I’ve never counted. Keeps fine in the fridge for several days.
- 1 chicken, in parts, giblets included if possible
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 celery stalks, chopped
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 6 tbsp butter
- 6 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp thyme
- crushed red pepper to taste
- Cajun seasoning, if desired (it is delicious either way)
- 2 tbsp dry vermouth, sherry, or white wine
- 1 tbsp cream
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- black pepper
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- 3/4 cup milk
- fresh or dried herbs if desired
Place the giblets, neck, and back in a dutch oven with the olive oil and quartered onion. Heat on medium high and brown all over, then cover and cook about 20 minutes, or until stock parts are done. Discard stock parts, add 6 cups hot water, along with salt and bay leaves. Simmer partially covered until the chicken is just cooked through.
Remove the chicken and strain the broth. Reserve 5 cups for this and save the rest for something else. De-bone and shred the chicken.
Mix, but do not overmix, the dumpling ingredients.
Heat the butter on medium in the dutch oven. When melted, add the flour. Whisk constantly until the flour is light to medium brown (you’re making a roux). Add the vermouth or other alcohol, then the thyme, crushed red pepper, and any other seasonings. Mix in the stock and simmer for a few minutes until thickened. Add the chopped carrot, celery, onion, and peas, simmer until done. Stir in the cream and parsley. Drop spoonfuls of dumplings on to the surface, cover pan, and cook for 15 minutes without opening it. Eat.