Chicken & Cornmeal Buttermilk Dumplings

Adapted from Chrissy Teegan’s Chicken & Dumplings & Canadian Living’s Chicken and Cornmeal Buttermilk Dumplings

Ingredients

For the chicken and the stock

  • 1 whole chicken (4-5 lbs)
  • 6-8 baby gold potatoes or one large russet
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1 large clove garlic, cracked
  • 1/2 onion, cut into 2 pieces
  • 1 large carrot, cut in half
  • 1 stalk celery, cut in half
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf

For the soup

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 onion, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 carrots, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped into 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • Meat from whole cooked chicken, shredded

For the dumplings

Makes about 8 dumplings
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter cubed
  • 2/3 cups buttermilk (I often sub yogurt thinned out with milk)

Directions:

For the chicken & stock

  1. Add all the ingredients for the chicken stock into a pot just large enough for the chicken (this is the best way to cook the chicken without needing to add too much water).
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the potatoes and set aside.
  3. Continue boiling the chicken for another 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked. To tell if it is cooked, move the leg back and forth – it should feel loose.

For the soup:

  1. Remove the chicken from the pot. When cool enough to handle, remove all the meat off the bones and shred; set aside. Leave the stock in the pot until ready to use. Skim off the fat, if desired.
  2. Cut the potatoes in half and set aside with chicken meat.
  3. In a wider pot (large enough for all the dumplings), heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, salt, pepper and turmeric, and cook, stirring, until the carrots begin to soften, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until all the flour has been absorbed.
  5. Pour the chicken stock into the large pot using a sieve to strain the solids from the stock.
  6. Add the shredded chicken and potatoes; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the broth thickens, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

While broth simmers, make dumplings:

  1. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. Using pastry blender, cut in the butter until it forms coarse crumbs.
  3. Stir in buttermilk to make a sticky spoonable dough. 
  4. Drop by 8 spoonfuls onto simmering stew. Cook, covered and without lifting the lid, until dumplings are no longer doughy underneath, approximately 10 minutes.