Monday, April 18, 2011

Chicken with Herbed Dumplings

Chicken with Herbed Dumplings
Sandy via The Cast Iron Skillet Cookbook

Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 T olive oil, divided
3 T unsalted butter
½ yellow onion, peeled and diced
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup all-purpose flour
3 cups chicken stock
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup dry sherry
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut into ½ inch slices
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp ground or freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp dried thyme
¾ cup frozen peas

Herbed Dumplings
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
7 T chilled butter
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried parsley
1 cup milk
½ tsp kosher salt

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425.

To prepare the chicken, rinse the chicken breasts, pat them dry, and cut into 1 inch strips. Season with salt and pepper and divide into 3 batches. Heat 1 T of the olive oil in a 12 inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat (or small dutch oven). Add the first batch of chicken and cook, turning once, until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and repeat with the remaining 2 batches, adding another tablespoon of olive oil for each batch. Set the chicken aside.

In the same skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour. Slowly add the chicken stock, cream, and sherry, whisking often, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and add the carrots, bay leaf, nutmeg, oregano and thyme. Generously season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. Return the chicken strips to the skillet and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Mix in the peas.

To prepare the dumplings, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut the chilled butter into tablespoon-sized slices. Using a pastry blender and working quickly, so the butter remains cold, cut in the butter until the pieces are pea-sized. (You can also transfer the flour mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, add the butter, and pulse 5 or 6 times.) Gently mix in the rosemary, using your hands or a spatula. Add the milk and mix gently just until the ingredients are wet.

Using a large spoon, scoop up some of the dumpling mixture and drop it on top of the hot chicken mixture. Repeat until all the dumpling mixture is used (you should have about 10 dumplings). Sprinkle the tops with the kosher salt and put the skillet into the oven. Bake until the dumplings are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. If you want to brown the tops of the dumplings more, brush the tops with melted butter and turn on the broiler for the last few minutes, keeping a close eye on the dumplings at this point. Serve from skillet.

Sandy’s Notes; For the liquid, use ¾ cup heavy cream and two cans of reduced-sodium chicken broth, skip the dry sherry. Increase the vegetables. Next time sub a can of evaporated skimmed milk for the heavy cream.

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