I've been in need of some comfort lately. It's winter and I'm finding it difficult to stay cheerful. Although I'm running, the endorphins just don't seem to be making up for the tiredness, lack of light and general sense of ennui. This bowl did though, just for an evening.
These dumplings are like a hug from your mom. On a cold night all you need is a bowl of chicken and dumplings and a puzzle. Is it just boring old me that gets so much enjoyment out of nights at home? I find it really hard to make any other plans! Home is warm and has books and blankets. It's got good food and a lovely husband and movies. I feel so silly for almost never getting out, but absolutely no inclination to change anything. I'm going to give myself a break and stay borderline agoraphobic for now- basically until someone who loves me finally has me committed.
Chicken and Dumplings
From Annie's Eats
6 chicken thighs (medium)
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
1 stick of celery
1/4 cup Old Brown Sherry
6 cups chicken stock (if making from cubes- water down more than instructed)
500 g chicken wings
2 cups cake flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3/4 cup cold buttermilk
60 g butter, melted and hot
1 extra-large egg white
1) Heat some oil in a large cast iron pot. Brown all the chicken thighs on both sides, seasoning with salt and pepper. Set them aside.
2) Remove most of the oil from the pot. Chop the onion, carrots and celery and fry until browned.
3) Add the sherry to deglaze the pot.
4) Add all the chicken stock, and the chicken thighs and wings. Turn down, cover and cook for about 45 minutes.
5) Now is the slightly annoying part- fish the chicken pieces out of the pot and remove the meat off the bone, cutting it into pieces. Add the meat back to the pot.
6) Mix the flour, sugar, salt and bicarb in a bowl.
7) In a separate bowl mix the cold buttermilk and hot butter until the butter forms lumps. Add the egg white.
8) Whisk the buttermilk mixture with the flour mixture until incorporated.
9) Place the pot on a medium heat and bring to the boil. Drop the dumpling dough in tablespoonfuls into the boiling liquid. Turn the heat down to low and cover the pot.
10) Simmer for about 15 minutes, until a tester inserted into the dumpling layer comes out clean.
11) Serve when it's cold out!