Chicken and Dumplings
Halfway between a soup and a stew, this hearty one-pot meal is great for a crowd. Take a cue from the American South and try adding sliced hard-boiled egg to the pot. If you're not a fan of parsnips and turnips, substitute these ingredients with cut-up raw potatoes. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).
For the Chicken
- 1 3- to 4-pound chicken
- 1 onion, halved but root end left intact
- 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
- 4 sprigs of fresh parsley
- 1 turnip, trimmed and chopped
- 2 parsnips, coarsely chopped
- 8 to 10 cups water
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
For the Dumplings
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill or parsley
To make the chicken, place the chicken into a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add the onion, carrot, celery, parsley, turnip, and parsnips to the pot and barely cover with the water.
Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to a simmer, partially cover, and simmer for 50 minutes. Lift out the chicken and vegetables. Discard the onion halves and parsley sprigs. Continue to simmer the broth for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the salt. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and shred into large pieces. You'll have 4 cups of shredded chicken. Use 2 to 4 cups as desired.
To make dumplings, in a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk and dill or parsley to combine.
Drop the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time onto the simmering broth. Cover and cook until the dumplings have cooked through 3 to 4 minutes. Carefully return the shredded chicken and the vegetables to the pot. Reheat for 1 minute. Serve in wide bowls with big spoons.