Chicken & Dumplings!
The seasons are changing quickly, and Fall is settling in here in Seattle. With the cooler evenings I have started to crave comfort food for dinner. The garden is still producing tomato after tomato but I somedays I need non tomato dishes on my table.
It seems that dumplings are universal form of comfort food. Every culture has a form or two a dumpling. Growing up we had all sorts of dumplings, everything from German Potato Dumplings to Chinese Potstickers. Chicken and Dumplings is a great comfort food and most versions that I come across are more soupy, well my version has a nice tasty gravy which with the chicken and dumpling is delicious.
The best part of this recipe is that it’s a one pot meal and the clean up is pretty simple. I serve these alongside roasted fall veggies or a simple salad. This dish also reheats well.
Now let’s talk wine! When I think of chicken I typically would go for a nice chardonnay, in fact there is chardonnay in the gravy. But when I made this recently I had red wine drinkers joining us for dinner. I searched the cellar and landed on a Washington Wine, by Efeste. I chose the 2014 Emmy Mourvèdre Blend. This wine is 80% Mourvèdre and the remainder is a mix of Grenache and Syrah, so it’s basically a GSM, or in this case a MGS. The savory earthy notes of this wine worked well with the mushrooms and chicken and it stood up and complimented the dumplings. Sometimes a random choice just works!
- 2 cups chopped cremini mushrooms
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, you could use other cuts.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 shallot, diced
- 2 tablespoons brandy
- 3/4 cup chardonnay
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup white cornmeal
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup chilled butter, diced
- 1 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons flour
- Chives and Parsley chopped for garnish
- Start by drying the chicken with paper towels and seasoning generously with salt and pepper.
- Make Dumpling batter. Stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and soda, salt and pepper. With your finger tips blend in the butter bits until the mixture is 'sandy'. Add in buttermilk and stir to incorporate, don't over mix. Set aside until ready.
- Heat a heavy skillet with lid over medium high heat. Add in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil, once melted, add in the chopped mushrooms. Sauté until the mushrooms are golden and have released all of their moisture. Remove and set aside.
- Add the remaining butter and olive oil to the pan. Once melted add in the chicken and brown the chicken on both sides, should take a few minutes. You want a nice golden color. Add in the shallots and the brandy, stir and scrape any bits off the pan. Once the brandy has evaporated add in the chardonnay, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until the chicken is cooked thru, about 15 minutes depending on size of chicken pieces.
- Whisk 1/2 cup of the broth, heavy cream and flour together in a bowl.
- Remove chicken from pan and let rest. Add the mushrooms back into the pan. Add 3 1/2 cups of the broth to the pan and bring to a boil. Whisk the cream mixture into the boiling pan. Season with salt and pepper, this should make a thickened gravy.
- Drop spoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the gravy, you should get about 10 dumplings, give each enough space. Reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook until the dumplings feel dry, which took about 20 minutes.
- Gently press the chicken pieces back into the gravy around the dumplings and garnish the entire dish with chopped parsley and chives.
- I like to serve this right from the skillet at the table. Place the hot dish on a trivet on the table and let everyone help themselves, i bet you there will be hardly no leftovers!
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