Sunday, January 3, 2010

Chicken and Whole Wheat Dumplings

Day 3: Fills the Belly

For the past two or three months or so, Jay and I have been trying to eat more meat (he is now officially an almost vegetarian as well). What this means is that every Sunday (at least when we are in town) Jay and I stroll down to the Ballard Farmer's Market (one of the few year-round, rain or shine markets in town) to buy what amounts to chicken gold. Free range, organic, coddled, pampered, and preened chicken that pretty much costs as much as my weekly unemployment check per pound. With this edible gold I made pretty much the quintessential winter soup, Chicken and Dumplings. After the meal Jay and I both noted feeling notably warmer. Lovely.

Like the tomato soup, I had never made Chicken and Dumplings so I consulted Epicurious and then altered the recipe to suit. I made the soup with homemade turkey stock that has been sitting in my freezer since Thanksgiving. Otherwise I altered the recipe by making the dumplings a little more waist friendly (replacing cream with nonfat yogurt and making them with whole wheat flour). When chopping your veggies, go ahead and leave them big, there is something very satisfying about big meaty chunks of carrots.

Chicken and Whole Wheat Dumplings

2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced in thick slices
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 med onion, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 small parsnip, chopped
two sprigs fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
5 cups poultry stock (chicken is best but turkey works fine if you have it)
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1/2 cup lowfat milk

In a wide soup pot, heat olive oil. Dredge chicken pieces in flour and brown them on both sides. Remove them from the pot and set aside. Add onions to pot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add remaining veggies, thyme and bay leave and cook for another few minutes. Add stock and chicken. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.

While you wait, combine the first six ingredients for the dumplings. Mix the yogurt and milk together. This mix should be about the consistency of buttermilk, add extra water or milk if it is too thick. Before you ready to add the dumplings to the chicken and vegetables, salt and pepper them to taste. Add the milk and yogurt mix to the dry ingredients and mix until just wet. Drop the dumplings into the simmering broth in heaping tablespoons (about 12 or so). Continue to simmer 6-8 minutes then flip the dumplings. Simmer until the dumplings are cooked to your liking (I prefer my dumplings a little doughy). Enjoy!

Jay' review:
4.5 yums (out of 5)! Chicken! Comfort food at its finest.