Tender poached chicken, fresh carrots, celery, onions and garlic......
simmering in a rich and creamy savory gravy.......
topped off with light, fluffy dumplings.......
Ultimate Chicken 'n' Dumplings
Chicken and Stock:
1 (3 to 3-1/2 lb.) chicken cleaned and rinsed
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
5 black peppercorns
1/2 head garlic (split through the equator)
2 Knorr or Maggi Chicken Boullion cubes
Salt to taste
For the Gravy:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1/3 cup flour
6 cups Chicken Stock (above)
1 pkg. frozen peas
1 pkg. pearl onions
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly ground black pepper (and plenty of it)
Chives or scallions for garnish
Place the chicken and stock ingredients in a large Dutch oven and cover with cold water. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a gentle simmer (do not boil). Think of it as a poaching liquid. A gently simmer makes for the most tender poached chicken! Simmer for 1 hour, skimming the surface of fat and scum as it cooks.
When done, remove chicken to a pan and set aside to cool slightly. Strain the stock and shred or chop the chicken, set aside.
To prepare the Gravy:
Using the same Dutch oven, over medium heat, add butter and oil. Add carrots and celery and saute until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour in the hot stock and stir or whisk to incorporate. Add frozen peas and pearl onions (I added two small, diced potatoes). Let the sauce simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in heavy cream.
The gravy was delicious, but looked a little pale to me, so I added two drops of yellow food coloring to enhance the color - totally optional!!
Fold in the reserved shredded chicken into the gravy and let simmer on low while you prepare the dumplings.
2 cups Bisquick
2/3 cup buttermilk
Chopped chives or scallions
Salt and pepper to taste
Drop heaping tablespoons of the dumpling batter onto the simmering gravy. Cover and let the dumpling poach for 15-20 minutes until they are firm and puffy.
Season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and chopped chives or scallions for garnish.