Tuesday, October 25, 2011

pollo y dumplings

 (a.k.a. "the one dish i can make without a recipe in front of me")

i love chickens. even raised them once upon a time. but the name the english bestowed upon them is just wrong. say it....CHiCKen. it's all hard edges and staccato.
then you look at what the spanish language writers did. they clearly understood the grace and beauty of this humble bird...pollo. round and soft and smooth. as is this dish.

it's a combination of my favorite parts of two or three recipes...and if you happen to make a batch yourself...it just might be the best thing to hit your stomach in a long time.

enough for 8 to 10 servings

2 T vegetable oil
2 T butter
1/2 c flour
5 lbs chicken thighs
s n p
3 - 6 carrots, diced (depending on your preference. i like lots.)
2 ribs celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 t minced fresh thyme leaves (or just stick a couple of sprigs in the pot while everything is stewing)
1/4 t turmeric
1 bay leaf
5 c chicken broth
1/2 c apple cider
1 c heavy cream
1 1/2 c flour
1/2 c cornmeal (this is what makes these dumplings so outstanding, in my opinion)
1 T baking powder
1 t kosher salt
1 1/2 c half n half
2 T parsley, minced

how to:
sprinkle thighs with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.
brown chicken in oil over med-high heat on both sides. 
remove chicken from pot and discard browned skin. 
add butter to pot and saute the onion, carrots, and celery. 
cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. 
stir in thyme, turmeric and bay leaf, then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. 
put chicken back in. 
cover pot and simmer for 30 minutes.

while chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: 
sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. 

now remove chicken and bay leaf from pot and remove chicken from the bone. 
shred chicken and return to the pot. 
pour in the heavy cream and stir to combine.
drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. 
add minced parsley. 
cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. 
check seasonings; add salt if needed. 
allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.


  1. I had my pen out for the recipe! looks delish! anything with something doughy is not something I do without recipe. but everything else I do...once. never to be repeated again. (thanks for showing your house! my plan for moving includes much less as well...)

  2. @SkyQueen: looks like we're cut from the same cloth as far as repeating recipes goes. my husband often tell the kids as we sit down to a meal, "remember this dish...because you'll likely never see it again."