Submitted by Michelle
I recently reconnected with one of my closest high school friends, Tifani. We lost contact years ago when we were first out of college but thanks to a little thing called Facebook, we have found each other again. Tifani lives in Washington with her husband Tim, but as fate would have it, they have family and a time share in Palm Desert. Last weekend they were in town to celebrate an early Christmas with their loved ones and David and I were lucky enough to host them for dinner.
With my busy schedule this fall I haven't done much entertaining, so I knew I wanted to cook for my friends rather than go out to a restaurant. However, my recent foot surgery and cumbersome post-operative boot (big bootie, as I like to call it) meant I'd have to keep it simple. I decided to make a one pot meal and I knew just where to look for a recipe.
OK, I know there are a bunch of haters out there who are thinking, "What??!! Gwyneth Paltrow? She doesn't even eat!" Before all y'all get started, let me say I proudly own this cookbook and I have tried many of the recipes and none of them have failed me yet. I love G.P and I stand by her and her cookbook. Nuf' said.
The weather was cool and rainy last weekend, so I decided upon chicken and dumplings, a comforting meal that would could for several hours in the oven. I started by seasoning the chicken and browning it in butter and olive oil.
After all the chicken was browned and out of the pot, I added in some celery, carrots, leeks, thyme and a bay leaf to begin building a base for the stew.
I let it cook down for a bit, along with a piece of chopped bacon.
I then added some white wine and chicken stock and let it all come up to a boil.Now here is the part of the recipe I wondered about the first time I made it. The directions say to cover the pot with a piece of parchment paper before putting the lid on.
I wasn't quite sure what this would do, but after several times making this dish, I think the parchment creates a steamy environment and helps keep the chicken moist while the liquid cooks down to a syrupy sauce.
After 1.5 hours, this is what you get.At this point, I mixed up some flour, baking powder , salt and milk, and spooned the batter on top of the stew.
Another 10 minutes in the oven with the lid on and the dish is complete.I served the chicken and dumplings family style, and made a tossed green salad as a side dish. The simplicity of the meal, along with the company of good friends, made for the perfect evening.
If you want to try Gwyneth's recipe, click here.