There is one thing that Germans and Italians can agree on: Chicken and dumplings make for a most satisfying meal. (Note: Actually, the only “Italians” who enjoy dumplings are from the remnants of the Habsburg Empire — South Tyrol, Trieste, Trentino, and Istria – that were ceded to Italy after World War I. In fact, Knödel soup is still served in many homes in the region).
I have again become a huge fan of chicken now that it is possible to find farm-raised organic chickens rather than the Tyson variety that has been genetically modified and produced in factory-farms for the likes of McDonalds and KFC. Let’s face it, chickens will eat most anything and if you put them in a decent environment where they are free to roam (but not too far!), you will have a great tasting bird and it will cut down on the tick and spider population.
Found below is a delightful recipe from Bon Appétit for Chicken and dumplings with mushrooms. What made this recipe stand out from previous “stew” recipes is the overabundance of lovely mushrooms that take the place of the traditional carrots, celery and potatoes. This is a meal fit for a king. Enjoy!
Bon Appetit Chicken and Dumplings and Mushrooms
- 6 oz. slab bacon Benton's bacon please, cut into ¼” pieces
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 chicken legs drumsticks with thighs; about 2 lb.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ pound mixed mushrooms
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 6 sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Dumplings and Assembly
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt plus more
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup whole milk
- Crisp bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium heat; transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.
- Place flour in a shallow bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Working in batches, cook chicken, skin side down, in same pot over medium heat until deep golden brown and crisp (do not turn), 12–15 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
- Working in 2 batches, cook mushrooms in same pot, seasoning with salt and pepper and stirring occasionally, until brown, 5–8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Add onion and garlic to pot; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, 5–8 minutes.
- Add wine to pot; simmer until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add chicken, bacon, thyme, bay leaves, and broth; season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and gently simmer, partially covered, skimming occasionally, until chicken is falling off the bone, 2–2½ hours. Add mushrooms and simmer until flavors meld, 10–15 minutes; season with salt and pepper.
Dumplings and Assembly
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Whisk flour, baking powder, nutmeg, pepper, and ¾ teaspoon. salt in a medium bowl. Whisk in eggs and milk (batter will be slightly lumpy). Reduce heat until water is at a strong simmer. Drop teaspoonfuls of batter into water; cook until dumplings are cooked through and doubled in size, about 5 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon; add to stew just before serving.
Clearly, this is a hearty meal and best served during the late Fall or Winter when the weather is cool. It also makes for great leftovers, although the dumplings are not nearly as light and flavorful the next day.