Thursday, November 18, 2010

Chicken and Cornmeal Dumplings

I really struggle with whether or not to post recipes that flopped. Thoughts?

Kevin loves chicken and dumplings - particularly the Cracker Barrel variety. This is so strange to me, since he usually dislikes anything creamy. I have made a shortcut recipe in the past, but last night, I decided to create the dumplings from scratch, which is not anything tremendous, since they are essentially just dough balls.

Anyway, this particular recipe is basically a chicken soup, with dumplings instead of noodles or rice. I ended up using a different dumpling recipe, than the original recipe called for, because cornmeal dumplings sounded pretty awesome. Well, here's the thing - the chicken soup was delicious. We all loved it. The dumplings... Meh. Not so good. In fact, I ended up throwing alphabet pasta into the pot, in order to compensate for the fact that none of us were going to end up eating the dumplings. Basically, they ended up being gritty, bland, tough dough balls, that just tasted plain old strange. Oh well. The good news is, the actually soup recipe was great. It had a terrific flavor, without being overly salty, and the blend of veggies was perfect. I will definitely make this one again, and I might even consider adding matzah balls next time. As for the dumplings - I'm really not finished trying. Perhaps I should have followed the original recipe... Hmmmm. There must be a perfect dumpling out there somewhere.

Try the soup. Kevin gave it 4.5 Bowls! Don't try the dumplings. Kevin gave them a measly 2 Bowls. Add pasta instead!

Chicken and Dumplings

Yield: serves 6

3 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 skinless chicken thighs (about 12 ounces)
4 cups thinly sliced leek, rinsed and drained
4 cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 1/2 cups baby carrots, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped parsnip
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup frozen petite peas, thawed

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Combine the flour, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Dredge the chicken in flour mixture, and turn to coat; shake off excess flour. Add the chicken to the pot; cook 3 minutes on each side, or until well-browned. Transfer chicken to a plate.

Add leeks to pot; cook over medium heat 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Return chicken to pot, and stir in broth, carrots, parsnips, celery, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Partially cover; reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. Remove chicken from pan. Pull the meat from bones; discard bones. Return the chicken to the pot, and stir in peas.

To prepare the dumplings, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt 3 times (this makes the dumplings very light). Combine the flour mixture, milk, and chives, and stir until moist.

Drop dough by 3 tablespoonfuls into a barely simmering chicken mixture. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 12 minutes, or until the dumplings are done (do not bring to a boil, or the dumplings will break up).

CALORIES 362 ; FAT 12g (sat 2g,mono 5g,poly 3g); CHOLESTEROL 45mg; CALCIUM 213mg; CARBOHYDRATE 47g; SODIUM 825mg; PROTEIN 18g; FIBER 5g; IRON 4mg

Health, MARCH 2003

Cornmeal-Herb Dumplings

The dough can be prepared, covered, and chilled about a half-hour ahead of time

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 4 dumplings)

1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons dried dill
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 eggs

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine water, olive oil, and eggs, and stir well. Add to dry ingredients, stirring until well-blended. With moistened hands, shape the dough into 32 (1-inch) balls, and set aside.

Bring 2 quarts of water to a simmer in a large saucepan, and add half of dumplings. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until done (do not let boil). Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon; set aside, and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining dumplings

CALORIES 148 (23% from fat); FAT 3.7g (sat 0.7g,mono 1.9g,poly 0.6g); IRON 1.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 55mg; CALCIUM 82mg; CARBOHYDRATE 24.3g; SODIUM 316mg; PROTEIN 4.5g; FIBER 2.1g

Cooking Light, MARCH 1996

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