Chicken Stew with Dumplings

Recipe is from The Old Farmer’s Almanac “Comfort Food” Magazine, 2021. In some parts of the county, nothing says “comfort food” quite like dumplings. This recipe makes 6 servings.

  • Ingredients for the Stew:
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 1/2 to 4 pounds of split chicken breasts, thighs, or other chicken parts
    • salt, to taste, plus 1 teaspoon
    • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • paprika, to taste
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
    • 2 cups sliced mushroom caps
    • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
    • 3 cups chicken stock
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1/2 cup light cream
    • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Ingredients for the Dumplings:
    • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
    • scant 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled sage
    • 1 tablespoon cold butter, in pieces
    • 1 large egg
    • 1/3 cup milk
  • Instructions for the stew:
    • Put the flour into a pie plate or shallow bowl. Rinse the chicken pieces and pat dry with paper towels. Remove and discard the skin. Lightly salt and pepper the chicken, dust with paprika, and dredge the pieces in the flour.
    • Heat the olive oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chicken, leaving space between the pieces. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer to a platter. Add the onion, celery, mushrooms, and carrot to the pot. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring often. Return the chicken pieces to the pot, add 2 cups of water plus the stock, thyme, salt, and pepper, to taste, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
    • Remove the pot from the heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken pieces to a platter. Set the broth aside to cool for 1 hour. With a large spoon, skim off and discard as much fat as possible.
    • When the chicken is cooled to the touch, pick off the meat, cut it into bite-size pieces, and return to the pot.
    • In a small bowl, whisk the light cream and flour until smooth. Add to the broth and simmer, until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  • Instructions for the dumplings:
    • About 20 minutes before serving, combine the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sage in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it in with your fingers until it resembles a coarse meal. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Drop the egg into the center, then add the milk. Whisk to combine the liquids, then stir the mixture to make a batter.
    • Carefully drop the batter, one rounded tablespoon at a time, into the barely simmering stew. Cover the pot and cook the dumplings for 15 minutes. If you hear the liquid boiling, lower the heat.
    • Remove the cover, remove the pan from the heat, and allow the stew to rest briefly for 5 minutes before serving.
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