Chicken and Dumplings
Yeah, it's still cold and dank and spring, while it has sprung, hasn't released her summer hostage, yet, so we will have to comfort ourselves with Chicken and Dumplings.
If you don't have bacon drippings, cook up some bacon. Don't use any healthful oils in this recipe...it would defeat the purpose of comforting comfort food.
4 tablespoons Bacon drippings
1 whole chicken, cut up
1 onion, rough cut
1 stalk of celery, rough cut
2 carrots, peeled and cut up
2 parsnips, peeled and cut up
1 large can chicken broth
3 white potatoes, diced
1 package of Béarnaise sauce mix
1 half pint heavy cream
1 half stick of butter
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
flour to dredge
Bay leaves, sprigs of thyme, rosemary, sage and parsley
2 cups self-rising flour
1 half stick butter, cut into small pieces
¾ cup buttermilk or sour cream, diluted with a little water
optional: chives, fresh or dried
Dredge dried, cut up pieces of chicken in the flour and brown them in the bacon drippings till golden brown. Remove to drain on a paper towel or rack. Brown onions, carrots, celery and parsnips and potatoes, until they are softened. Add broth and stir up the browned bits on the bottom and add the chicken back to the pot. Braise chicken over a low burner for an hour and a half, with the pot covered.
Remove vegetables and chicken to a warming dish and keep it covered. Discard herbs. Continue cooking the broth until you have reduced liquid by a third.
Mix béarnaise sauce mix with cream and melted butter, and pour into reduced chicken stock. Add all the ingredients back to the liquid and add dumplings.
Cut cold butter into flour til blended and crumbly. Add buttermilk or sour cream and herbs if desired.
Don't over mix. Drop onto bubbling liquid by spoonfuls and cover for 10 minutes. Dumplings will be firm and glistening when done.