Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Chicken and Basil Dumplings



After a lovely day yesterday where we could get away with wearing a sweater without a coat, the weather took another dip into the downright chilly today. For me that always signals a call for Chicken and Dumplings because a) it is one of my other-half's favorite meals since childhood, b) it is one of those comforting meals that you love to cook up on a cold day, c) it fills the house with the most wonderful aroma and d) it's absolutely delicious.
I have my own version of this recipe but I love to try new ones, so when I saw this over at For the Love of Cooking food blog I couldn't wait to try it. If you click here the link will take you right to the post.


Chicken and Basil Dumplings
Soup:

2 tsp olive oil
1/2 sweet yellow onion, diced
3-4 carrots, diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 cups of chicken broth (I used homemade)
2 cups of roasted chicken, shredded
1 tsp dried basil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
2 tsp chicken bouillon granules

Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the carrots, celery and minced garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, dried basil, bouillon granules, sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Cover and cook on medium low for 45 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

Dumplings:

1 1/4 cups of flour

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp butter, softened
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
large egg, lightly beaten

Combine the flour with basil, garlic powder, salt, and baking powder in a large bowl. But in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Combine buttermilk and egg, stirring with a whisk. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

Remaining Ingredients:

1/4 cup of cornstarch
1/4 cup of chicken broth
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Add the chicken to the soup then taste to re-season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, if needed; bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Combine the cornstarch with the chicken broth and mix thoroughly to make a slurry. Add slurry to the soup, simmer for 3 minutes.

Drop dumpling dough, 1-2 tsp per dumpling, (I used two spoons to drop them into the soup) into the chicken soup. Cover and cook for 7 minutes (DO NOT LET THE BROTH BOIL). Add the chopped parsley to the soup and serve. Enjoy.

The verdict from both of us was this was a great recipe, absolutely scrumptious and I wouldn't hesitate using it again. One of us - not me - liked it so much he had seconds and that always puts a big smile on my face. Yes it's a keeper.

I changed a few things as I didn't use roasted chicken because I wanted to make my own broth and cooked a chicken on top of the stove in the largest pot I had, along with the soup ingredients. I brought it to a boil then turned it down to a simmer until the chicken was cooked through, removing it until it cooled enough to break into small pieces.

I also couldn't lay my hands on my sea salt and used Kosher instead. Of course after I had added everything, I turned around and there was the sea salt right where I had left it but there you go, just like everything else in life cooking should be an adventure.

While I'm at it I might as well admit that I made the dumplings from our usual buttermilk mix that we buy at the store. I only had a little left in the box and wanted to use it up.

I also was very liberal when I sprinkled the dried basil into the broth as you'll see from my photos, and I also put in dried parsley as I didn't have the fresh kind.

Next time I'll stick to the recipe verbatim I promise! Keeping my fingers crossed behind my back here.