Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chicken & Dumplings, oh my!

I do not claim to be any kind of Martha Stewart wanna-be. However, I do admit that she is super-talented & her recipes are almost always really good. The following is one of my favorites:
1 pound skinless chicken thighs (about 5-6)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 3)
fine sea salt or coarse salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh thyme (I used dried thyme)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk
3 carrots, sliced on the diagonal 1/4-inch thick
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup low-fat milk

1. Sprinkle chicken with salt & pepper. Heat a 6-quart skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat; add thighs. Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides & cooked all the way through, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat with breasts; cut breasts crosswise into thirds.
2. Melt butter in skillet & add onion. Cover, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in broth & thyme; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch & flour in a bowl; gradually whisk in milk, & then whisk milk mixture into broth.Boil, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet; remove from heat.
3. Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil; add salt. Add carrots & green beans; cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.Drain in a colander, then rinse with cold water to stop cooking. Stir in chicken mixture.
4. Prepare dumplings: In medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt. Add butter, using your fingers, combine until mixture is texture of coarse meal. [I use a pastry blender to chop everything together. … I hate messy fingers!] Pour in milk; stir with a fork until dough comes together. Return chicken mixture to a simmer, and drop dough by the tablespoon on stew. Cover; cook 15 minutes without lifting lid. (The dumplings will puff up.) Serve hot.
442 calories, 12 g fat, 126 mg cholesterol, 42 g carbohydrate, 810 mg sodium, 40 g protein, 4 g fiber. Serves 6.