Monday, April 23, 2012

Chicken + Parmesan-Thyme Dumplings

I love taking classic Americana recipes and putting a twist on them. Chicken pot pie with a hash brown crust, french fries with truffled aioli, and for right now, chicken and dumplings (don't worry, the others will be featured here eventually).

Today was a particularly chilly day compared to the unseasonably warm spring we've been having here in Saint Louis. A perfect day for warm soup. Chicken and dumplings is a better way to eat chicken soup, and I put a twist on it by making it with broccoli stems and Parmesan-thyme dumplings.

Broccoli stems, you ask? Why? Because they are just as delicious as the florets, hold up well in the soup, and are a part of the vegetable that we often throw away when they are perfectly edible and tasty.

This recipe for chicken and dumplings is also, incidentally, much lighter than most, because I skip the roux and heavy cream at the end.

{Printable Recipe}

For the soup:
1 roasted chicken, shredded
6 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 large head broccoli, florets removed, stem peeled and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper
1/4 cup whole milk

For the dumplings (Adapted from Tyler Florence's recipe):
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
4 sprigs thyme


Chop the onion and garlic. Saute in some olive oil or bacon fat until translucent. Add salt and pepper, then white wine. Reduce by half. Add stock, bay leaf, and chicken.

For the broccoli, remove the florets. Peel the stem and chop it into little discs. Add to the soup.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings: Combine the "buttermilk" and eggs, whisk together.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt.

This might be messy.

So much for saving on cleanup.

Mix it up until just combined.

Add Parmesan, thyme, and pepper.  

When the soup is simmering, add the whole milk, and then heaping tablespoons of the dumpling batter. Don't crowd the surface of the soup! Let them poach partially covered for 10-15 minutes or until firm.

They might get really puffy — try not to let the whole thing explode (mine almost did)


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