Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Gwyneth's Chicken and Dumplings

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.

1 comment:

Kathi said...

This looks fabulous. I love G.P. too! Thank you for sharing about her new cookbook. I want one too. Kathi