and dumplings make chicken pot pie look easy. There’s no disguising a leaden
dumpling. One goal was to develop a dumpling that was light yet substantial,
and tender yet durable. The other was to develop a well-rounded recipe that,
like chicken pot pie, included vegetables, therein supplying the cook with a
complete meal in one dish. Dumplings can contain myriad ingredients, and there
are just as many different ways to mix them. We tried them all—with disastrous
results. But when we stumbled on a unique method of adding warm liquid rather
than cold to the flour and fat, our dumplings were great—firm but light and
fluffy. The reason? The heat expands and sets the flour so that the dumplings
don’t absorb liquid in the stew. The best-tasting dumplings were made with
all-purpose flour, whole milk, and the chicken fat left from browning the
Chicken and dumplings make chicken
pot pie look easy. There’s no disguising a leaden dumpling. One goal was to
develop a dumpling that was light yet substantial, and tender yet durable. The oth...(more)
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In Queue: Lighter Chicken and Dumplings
A stew as thick and heavy as pot-pie filling was fine for
our forebears, but we wanted a lighter broth and dumplings that wouldn’t sink
to the bottom of the pot.
recommend buttermilk for the dumplings, but it’s acceptable to substitute ½ cup
plain yogurt thinned with ¼ cup milk. If you want to include white meat (and
don’t mind losing a bit of flavor in the process), replace 2 chicken thighs
with 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each). Brown
the chicken breasts along with the thighs and remove them from the stew once
they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes. The
collagen in the wings helps thicken the stew; do not omit or substitute. Since
the wings yield only about 1 cup of meat, using their meat is optional. The
stew can be prepared through step 3 up to 2 days in advance; bring the stew
back to a simmer before proceeding with the recipe.
skin-on chicken thighs(about 2
1/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat (see note)
·Table saltand ground black pepper
·2small onions, chopped fine (about 1 1/2 cups)
·2medium carrots, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces (about 2
·1celery rib, medium, chopped fine (about 1/2 cup)
·6cupslow-sodium chicken broth
·1teaspoonminced fresh thyme leaves
·1/4cupChopped fresh parsleyleaves
·2cupsunbleached all-purpose flour(10 ounces)
·4tablespoons (1/2 stick)unsalted butter, melted and cooled about 5 minutes
1. FOR THE STEW Pat chicken thighs dry with
paper towels and season with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat
oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add
chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook until skin is crisp and well
browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Using tongs, turn
chicken pieces and brown on second side, 5 to 7 minutes longer; transfer
to large plate. Discard all but 1 teaspoon fat from pot.
2. Add onions, carrots, and celery to now-empty pot;
cook, stirring occasionally, until caramelized, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in
sherry, scraping up any browned bits. Stir in broth and thyme. Return
chicken thighs, with any accumulated juices, to pot and add chicken wings.
Bring to simmer, cover, and cook until thigh meat offers no resistance
when poked with tip of paring knife but still clings to bones, 45 to 55
3. Remove pot from heat and transfer chicken to
cutting board. Allow broth to settle 5 minutes, then
skim fat from surface using wide spoon or ladle. When cool enough to
handle, remove and discard skin from chicken. Using fingers or fork, pull
meat from chicken thighs (and wings, if desired) and cut into 1-inch
pieces. Return meat to pot.
4. FOR THE DUMPLINGS Whisk flour, baking soda,
sugar, and salt in large bowl. Combine buttermilk and melted butter in
medium bowl, stirring until butter forms small clumps; whisk in egg white.
Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir with rubber spatula
until just incorporated and batter pulls away from sides of bowl.
5. Return stew to simmer; stir in parsley and season
with salt and pepper to taste. Using greased tablespoon measure (or #60
portion scoop), scoop level amount of batter and
drop over top of stew, spacing about ¼ inch apart (you should have about
24 dumplings). Wrap lid of Dutch oven with clean kitchen towel (keeping
towel away from heat source) and cover pot. Simmer gently until dumplings
have doubled in size and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean,
13 to 16 minutes. Serve immediately.
No More Broken Sinkers
Here's how we lightened up our dumplings and kept them intact.
ADD AN EGG WHITE
Adding an egg white helps develop light-as-air dumplings that don't
LET LIQUID SIMMER Waiting to add the dumplings until the broth is
simmering sets their bottoms and keeps them whole.
CATCH CONDENSATION Wrapping the lid with a towel absorbs excess moisture
that can turn dumplings soggy.
Best Parts for Broth
NATURAL THICKENER The multiple joints in chicken wings contain lots of
collagen that converts into gelatin during cooking—a better broth thickener
than flour, which masks chicken flavor.
FULL O' FLAVOR
Pound for pound, chicken thighs impart richer flavor to broth than any other
part of the bird. Plus, they require far less cooking time than eking the
flavor out of a whole bird or carcass.