Cranky Day Leftovers (a.k.a Chicken and Dumplings)
I’m in a bit of a cranky mood. Long day with some…annoying news…all I wanted was a hot dinner, preferably one already cooked. And then I remembered the chicken and dumplings leftovers in the fridge. While last night’s pie wasn’t exactly a “success” (at least visually), my chicken and dumplings were deeeelish!
I started by pan frying some chicken thighs in olive oil until it was all brown and crispy.
Then I sauteed leeks, onions and carrots in the juices.
Then I added some flour. I toasted that for a bit and added some white wine. I let that cook down a bit and then added some chicken stock, my chicken thighs and some salt and pepper.
I threw on the lid and let it all cook down for about 45 minutes. Then I made some dumpling batter and dropped globs of it in to boil into perfect little dumplings. Some fresh tarragon and a bowl of fresh shelled English peas later and we were in business!
The great thing about chicken and dumplings (besides the obvious tasty fabulousness) is that you can make a giant pot and eat the leftovers for days. And today that’s about all I could ask for. Well, maybe a little leftover pie soup for dessert.
RECIPE (adapted from Cook’s Illustrated):
Note: Start the dumpling dough only when you’re ready to top the stew with the dumplings.
5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium leek, cut into ½” pieces
1 medium onion, minced
6 TBSP AP flour
1/4 cup white wine
5 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup whole milk
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 cup green peas
3 TBSP minced fresh tarragon leaves
2 cups AP flour
1 TBSP baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole milk
3 TBSP butter
– For the Stew: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add half of the chicken and cook until golden on both sides, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and remove the browned skin. Return the pot to medium-high heat and repeat with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the remaining chicken.
– Add the leeks, onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to the pot and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the flour. Whisk in the wine, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in the broth, milk, thyme, and bay leaves. Nestle the chicken into the pot. Cover and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and tender, about 45 – 60 minutes.
– Transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Discard the bay leaves. Allow the sauce to settle for a few minutes, then skim the fat from the surface using a wide spoon. Shred the chicken, discarding the bones, then return it to the stew.
– For the Dumplings: Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Microwave the milk and fat in a microwave-safe bowl on high until just warm (do not over-heat), about 1 minute. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth.
– Return the stew to a simmer, stir in the peas and tarragon, and season with salt and pepper.
– Drop golf-ball-sized dumplings over the top of the stew, about 1/4 inch apart.
– Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes.