CHICKEN AND BUTTERMILK DUMPLINGS

Yes, I squeezed in another soup-y meal before the hot weather hits hard–and this is one of my favorites: Chicken and (Buttermilk) Dumplings! Note: Because I adore dumplings (that’s mom’s Southern belle coming out in me), I went a bit overboard with these tasty lumps of biscuit, so you may want to cut back a little. Your call.

Chicken and Buttermilk Dumplings

SOUP:

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp butter

1 cup chopped onions

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1-1/2 lb chicken breasts, sliced thin and cut into bite-sized pieces

1 bay leaf

1 tsp dry thyme

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken broth

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 tbsp chopped parsley

DUMPLINGS (Note: makes a load of dumplings):

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp salt

1 tbsp baking powder

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1) To large soup pot over medium-high heat, add oil and butter and melt; add onions, carrots, and celery and, stirring often, cook 10 minutes until vegetables soften; stir in chicken and cook, stirring often, 5-6 minutes until chicken cooks through

2) Reduce heat to low and add bay leaf, thyme, and pepper; sprinkle flour over top and, stirring continuously, cook 2-3 minutes; stir in chicken broth and cream (Note: unless you like mushy peas, hold off on them); stirring occasionally, cook 15 minutes

3) Meanwhile, in medium-sized bowl lightly beat eggs, buttermilk, salt, and baking powder; gradually stir in flour until dough comes together (will be quite moist)

4) Stir peas into soup mixture, then drop dough by tablespoonfuls on top of soup; cover pot with lid and cook 5 minutes; gently turn dumplings and cook 5-10 minutes longer until dumplings are firm and cooked through; remove from heat, pluck out bay leaf and toss; sprinkle with parsley and serve

Servings: 4 hearty dinner-sized bowls

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