Chicken and Dumplings

Once again, a Tyler Florence recipe has wowed me and has become a favorite of mine. As we all know, chicken and dumplings is not a quick meal to prepare, but this recipe is so worth the time. The chicken can be cooked ahead of time, shredded and both the chicken and stock can be refrigerated. The stock adds so much flavor to this dish. Enjoy!
Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Stock:
1 (3 to 3 1/2 pound) whole chicken
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs of thyme
4 to 5 black peppercorns
1 head garlic, split through the equator
2 Tbsp. salt

Buttermilk-Chive Dumplings:
2 C. flour ( I used Einkorn)
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1/4 C. chopped chives
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk

2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. oil
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1/4 C. flour ( I used garbanzo bean flour)
6 C. chicken stock (from cooking chicken)
1 C. frozen peas
1 C. frozen pearl onions
1/4 C. heavy cream
Freshly ground pepper, for garnish
Chopped chives, for garnish

For the stock:

Place the chicken and all stock ingredients in a large Dutch oven and cover with water. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour until the chicken is tender.

When done remove the chicken to a cutting board. Strain the stock and shred the meat into big pieces – the stock will be used for the sauce and the chicken will be folded into it.

For the dumplings:

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a small bowl, using a whisk, lightly beat the eggs, chives and buttermilk together; pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently fold. Mix just until the dough comes together; the batter should be thick and cake-like.

To prepare the sauce:

In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, add the butter and oil. Add the carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves and saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes to coat the flour and remove the starchy taste. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add frozen peas and pearl onions.

Let sauce simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in heavy cream.

Fold the reserved shredded chicken into the sauce and bring up to a simmer. Using 2 spoons, carefully drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the hot mixture. The dumplings should cover the top of the sauce, but should not be touching or crowded. Let the dumplings poach for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm and puffy. Remove and discard the bay leaves. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped chives before serving.

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