Sunday, March 9, 2008

Chicken and Dumplings

Yesterday it was freakishly and suddenly cold, with a decidedly unpleasant cold rain crashing into the Deb's readiness for Spring and so I felt the urge to make some comfort food. My husband loves him some chicken and dumplings, and I use this recipe to make delicious dumplings of a low-fat variety. They're also great when a loved-one has a cold or the flu! They're warm and tasty and very low in fat/calories!

Chicken and Non-Dumpy Dumplings
You'll need:

1 1/4 lb chicken breasts, boneless skinless, cut into 1" chunks
2 T. flour
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
2 t. canola oil
2 leeks, white and light parts online, thinly sliced
2 -- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks (I use the leafy ones for extra flavor), chopped
1 bay leaf
1 t. thyme
2 1/2 C. low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 C. apple juice
1/2 C. fresh or frozen/thawed peas

Heat a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Meanwhile, take your chicken breasts and sprinkle them with a little salt and pepper, each side. Mix the flour, and the 1/8 tsps of salt and pepper together. Sprinkle 1 T. of this mixture onto the chicken. Heat oil in the sauce pan and then add the chicken. It should sizzle when it hits the heat! Brown the chicken to just barely golden, then remove to a plate. Into the same pan, toss in your leeks and shallots. Let them get soft and fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add in carrots, celery, bay leaf and thyme, stirring all together. Cook until flavors are combined, about 6 -- 8 minutes. Add in chicken broth, apple juice and reserved chicken. Bring to a boil and then let simmer, partially covered, for about 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, work on your dumplings ...

For Dumplings:
2 T. flour
2 T. cornmeal
3/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 T. chopped parsley
1/4 C. milk

Sift flour, cornmeal, powder and salt together. Stir in parsley gently. Slowly add in milk until just combined. As chicken mixture finishes simmering, plop tsp. of the dough into the hot, bubbly water. They'll swell up a bit, so spread them out. Cover, simmering for another 4 -- 5 minutes until cooked through, perhaps gently turning once. Add in peas and cook for another 2 minutes. Serve in 1 C. servings; serves 6. I serve this with some crusty bread slices or over brown rice. A perfect cold weather meal, very filling and extremely tasty. Only 4 pts. on WW, or about 250 calories.