Warm woolen socks, soft mittens and Norwegian printed tights. The cold weather has finally arrived and I have brought out my favorite attire. My Daughter and I went shopping yesterday and found knit hats and sweaters, tights and leg warmers. We wanted to buy them all, we settled on our favorites and then went to lunch a quaint little Italian place nearby.
It has been a busy week of taking down holiday decor, preparing the den for remodeling and replacing our water heater which decided to start leaking on Christmas morning, of course. The den is now down to minimum contents, the water heater has be replaced by my wonderfully handy husband and oldest son and all is right with the world once more.
The den I fear will have to wait for spring along with the other rooms to be remodeled, the weather it too cold at the moment to air our when painting as we will need to use Killz on some of the darker shades of red, yes the previous owner had, lets just say, a bright color palette. I love the cranberry red in our bedroom and plan to decorate using that as my base but, some of the other colors I want to soften through the house.
This chilly weather always initiates my seasonal crochet addiction. I completed a lovely infinity scarf, in a soft lavender double half crochet. I wanted the thickness for warmth. I am just not warm unless my neck and feet are. I have now embarked on crocheting several potholders for myself and family. I’ve found a wonderful pattern that is simple and minimal. I purchased some sturdy wool yarn for this task. I will update including pictures when they are complete.
On to the topic at hand, Chicken and Dumpling. There are several variations of this tried and true dish, the one we have settled on in our family is the large fluffy dumplings that cover the top of the pot soaking up the fragrant flavors within. I have made the flat noodle style Southern dumplings for many years which were fathers absolute favorite. He had to have a pot at least once a week, especially this time of year. I do like them very much and I have my fathers favorite recipe and I will make and share in a future article. But last evening was a perfect marriage of chicken, vegetables, spices and dough that would be a shame to keep to myself.
Begin by browning the chicken thighs in a large dutch over in grape seed oil, while they are browning and seasoning the pot chop the celery, onion, garlic, carrots and fresh thyme. After removing the chicken sauté the vegetables and spices until they began to soften, about 7 to 9 minutes. Then add the chicken, 10 cups of water, 2 bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Here I added a teaspoon of “Better than Bullion” just to add a bit of extra flavor to the dish. Let this simmer for about 30 minutes.
Then remove bay leaves and chicken, for the chicken let cool, then remove the skin and bone, shred meat with a fork and add back to the simmering pot. Next, thicken the broth by using about 2 cups of the soup stock and 3 heaping tablespoons of flour, whisk thoroughly and incorporate back into the pot of broth.
For the dumplings, whisk together the remaining flour baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add milk, buttermilk is also and option here, butter and parsley until a dough forms. Roll the dough into 8 equal balls or just drop by the spoonful into the broth. Cover and simmer until the dumplings become full and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes. Garnish and serve. This is a warm family favorite that everyone will enjoy.
The fire has dwindled to sparkling orange embers and I must take a trip to the market to gather ingredients for my next great cooking adventure. Hoping everyone has an amazing day.
Hearty Chicken and Dumplings
1 Tbsp grape seed oil
6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on (about 2 lbs)
Salt and pepper
4 stalks of celery
2 small onions
2 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
2 cups plus 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk (buttermilk can be used also)
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, plus more for garnish
In a dutch oven heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and let brown turning once. Remove chicken from pot and add chopped celery, onions, carrots and garlic to the pot. sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the chicken bayleaves, 10 cups of water and “Better than Bullion”, let simmer on until chicken is cooked thoroughly, about 30 minutes.
Remove chicken and bay leaves from pot, remove bone and skin from the chicken and shred with a fork, add back to pot.
Remove 2 cups of liquid from pot and add 3 Tablespoons of flour, whisk until smooth then incorporate back into pot to thicken.
In a large bowl mix Flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add milk butter and parsley mixing until dough forms. Roll the dough into 8 equal balls or just drop by the spoonful into the broth. Cover and simmer until the dumplings become full and firm, about 12 to 15 minutes. Garnish and serve. This is a warm family favorite that everyone will enjoy.
(adapted from www.realsimple.com)