Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Inspiration From An Odd Source

Good evening everyone! It's Tuesday, and Maggie and I are feeling about 70% - which is about 69% better than we were feeling yesterday. Hopefully, another full night's rest will have us up and going at 100% again. For tonight, at least, Maggie dug up enough energy to cook up dinner, so there will still be a blog post! (I know you were all deeply concerned)

Tonight's recipe came from an odd source, first it was our first reader submitted recipe (don't hesitate to send any ideas you may have to our email outoftheculinary@gmail.com - but be warned, we might not use said recipe - or we may make adaptations to said recipe. Credit will be given for the inspiration, if you so wish) Secondly, the magazine the original recipe draws from is not typically associated with cooking. However, sometimes you just hear a recipe and realize that it 'sounds tasty' and therefore must give it a go.

So special thanks go out to Maggie's sister Marissa for finding the original recipe... in This Old House magazine. I told you it was from a unique source! After all, when you think food magazines - Cook's Illustrated, Food Network Magazine, Taste Of Home among many others come to mind. This Old House...not so much! That doesn't make a recipe any less deserving of an attempt, however, so Maggie decided to take a crack at it tonight. With that, I'll turn it over to Maggie and let her share the recipe with you.

The Recipe: Chicken With Dumplings
Original Recipe Found In: This Old House, September 2010 Issue (Via Marissa)

What You'll Need:

For The Stew:

6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
3 Pounds Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breasts
3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
3 Carrots (Sliced 1/4 Inch Rounds)
2 Celery Ribs (Sliced 1/4 Inch Rounds)
1 Large Onion
1 Teaspoon Salt
3 Garlic Cloves (Minced)
6 Tablespoons All Purpose Flour
2 Bay Leaves
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Peas
3/4 Cup Dry Sherry
1/3 Cup Heavy Cream

For The Dumplings:

2 Cups All Purpose Flour
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
4 Tablespoons Vegetable Shortening
1 Cup Buttermilk

Hi everyone, coming to you as Mrs. Tyler - it's still a little weird to call myself his Mrs., but I assure you, it was well worth the wait.  As Tyler mentioned, we got the recipe from my eldest sister, Marissa.  As we were leaving our hometown, she gave me this recipe and said "Here, try this."  I was going to wait a couple of weeks to try it, but heck, why not give me a good challenge on our return trip to the blog.

Maggie is ready to get back to cooking...

First, I brought the chicken broth up to a simmer in a Dutch oven, (which, Tyler and I have concluded, can be defined as little bubbles pre-boiling.)  After the broth was nice a simmering, I placed my chicken in the warm broth bath.  I turned the heat to medium-low, covered and let it cook for about 10 minutes.  These 10 minutes should cook the chicken to 160 degrees, the safe temp to eat chicken.  After the chicken is done cooking, transfer the chicken to a plate and cover with a loosely tented aluminum foil or with a cooking hand towel, which ever you have handy.

After the chicken is brought out of the Dutch oven, pour the broth in a large bowl and set aside.  Return the Dutch oven to medium-high heat and melt the butter.  After which, add the carrots, celery, onion, and salt and cook for seven minutes, this should cause the vegetables to be nice and soft.  Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in the flour and cook for about a minute.  After these, add the sherry, reserved broth, cream, thyme, bay leaves, and pepper and bring to a boil.  Cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

All of the veggies

Whilst the vegetable/broth/deliciousness is simmering, this would be the opportune time to make the dumplings.  Stir the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together until incorporated.  Rub the shortening between your fingers with the flour mixture to create "coarse crumbs". 

coarse crumbs

 Stir in the buttermilk to create a "shaggy dough".

shaggy dough

Also while the stew is simmering, you can also shred the chicken with your hands.  The chicken will be slightly hot/warm still, which is a good sign.  After the shredding is done and the stew is done cooking, you can begin the finishing touches.  Remove the bay leaves from the stew and add the chicken and the peas.  Drop about six or seven rounded dumplings into the stew.  WARNING: this little buggers are VERY sticky, so don't get too frustrated with it, it's just the way they are.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 18 minutes, or the dumplings double their size.

The End Result:

Now, neither Tyler or I have ever had Chicken and Dumplings before.  So when I looked in my Dutch oven upon completion to find that my dumplings weren't exactly, well, biscuit-y.  In frantic mode, I called the source of the recipe and asked her if the dumplings were supposed to be doughy.  "Like an undercooked potato," Marissa replied.  Tyler and I both shrugged our shoulders and took a big bite.  

This recipe was quite delicious.  The stew's ingredients worked so harmoniously together and to have big fluffy morsels on top was an excellent addition.  I am pretty proud of myself, not only that I got through that long of a recipe, that it was actually good.  A big thanks goes to my sister, Marissa, for providing tonight's recipe and having us step out on faith that it would work!  :)

I loved working on a recipe that came from somebody else, and not one I just found, so I highly suggest if any of you readers have a recipe you want us to try, email it to us - we're willing to give it a shot!  And now, here's back to my hubby!!

Thank you Maggie. Tonight's dish reminded me a lot of my skillet chicken pot pie, from a few weeks ago. My pot pie was slightly creamier - but all in all had a lot of similarities to this dish. The only real issue I had with tonight's dish is the overall abundance of onion and the otherwise 'lull' of other veggies. I think cutting down the onion to one medium onion, and adding some other veggies (corn, green beans - etc.) would give this dish a nice, robust flavor. As it stands, it is still a very good recipe on it's own.

That's all we have for you this evening. As always, thank you for stopping by and reading our latest culinary adventure. I've got a special feature to share with you tomorrow night, then I'll take over the kitchen with a recipe of my own on Thursday. Until then,


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