Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
- 1 pound medium baking potatoes, preferably russets, scrubbed
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound), halved
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons canola or other vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
- 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/3 cup plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
- One 12-ounce bottle beer, preferably an amber lager
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
Season the chicken breasts and thighs with the remaining 1 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the chicken breasts to brown them, about a minute per side, turning them with tongs or a spatula. (If you shake the pan immediately after they have gone in, they will not stick.) Transfer the breasts to a platter and add the thighs to the pan. Brown them, about a minute per side, then transfer to the platter with the chicken breasts. Tent with foil to keep warm.
Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pan. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Sprinkle the 1 tablespoon flour over the entire mixture; cook for 15 seconds, stirring constantly.
Whisk in the beer, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan; continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about a minute. Stir in the thyme and sage, then the stock and bay leaf. Let the sauce come to a simmer, then add the chicken breasts and thighs along with any accumulated juices. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, gently stir the 1/3 cup flour and the cornstarch into the potatoes with a wooden spoon just until smooth. Do not beat.
Discard the bay leaf from the stew. Scoop up scant 1/4 cups of the potato mixture and lay them on top of the stew. Do not cover the stew completely with dumplings -- rather, let them sit like clouds on its surface. Cover and steam the dumplings for 10 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Chicken and Garlic Dumplings: Stir 2 finely minced garlic cloves into the riced potatoes while they are still warm.
Chicken and Herbed Dumplings: Omit the nutmeg and stir any of the following into the riced potatoes while they are still warm: 1 Tablespoon chopped parsley, 1 Tablespoon chopped rosemary, 2 teaspoon chopped oregano, 2 teaspoon minced tarragon, or 1 teaspoon minced dill.
Chicken, Greens, and Dumplings: Stem and wash 1/2 pound Swiss chard, collard greens, or spinach. Shred into 1-inch pieces, then stir into the stew before laying the potato dumplings over the top.
Easy Coq au Vin: Substitute 1-1/2 cups dry red wine for the beer. Use two spoons to form the potato mixture into quenelles (small, oval-shaped disks). Arrange them decoratively across the stew.
Sausage and Dumplings: Substitute 2 pounds chicken sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces, for the breasts and thighs.
Shrimp, Chicken, and Dumplings: Before laying the dumplings on top of the stew, stir in 1/2 pound medium shrimp (about 35 per pound), peeled and deveined.
Summery Chicken and Dumplings: Substitute 1-1/2 cups white wine or vermouth for the beer.
Turkey and Dumplings: Substitute 2 pounds boneless, skinless turkey breast meat, cut into large chunks, for the chicken.
Recipe Source: The Ultimate Potato Book by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (Wm Morrow)
Reprinted with permission.