It may not be French, but like many comfort foods, Chicken and Dumplings is a perfect recipe for your French braiser. Here’s my recipe for Chicken and Dumplings in the Braiser.
Bonjour mes amis! Is it cold where you are? It sure is here in Amerique profonde. I’ve been enjoying long stretches of time by the fireside, planning my summer foray to France. We’re headed to Ireland, then a little touch of Spain, and loads of the South-of-France—from Montpellier to Menton. More on that another time.
For now, I’m just trying to enjoy the best winter cooking. The other day, I pulled out my favorite recipe for Chicken and Dumplings. It’s based on an old Silver Palate recipe, which I updated and streamlined over the years. I think you’re going to love it.
A word about Chicken and Dumplings: Somewhere along the line, people started making it with those refrigerated biscuits-in-a-can. Now, I’m not judging, of course: If convenience products keep anyone from swerving into the drive-through, by all means, use them.
But dumplings are dumplings and biscuits are biscuits. And in this dish, I like dumplings better. These are dense and chewy and wonderful—and really good when you use them to soak up the liquid from the stew. Seriously—make the dumplings from scratch, and for about 5 more minutes of your time, you’re increasing the pleasure of this dish exponentially.
Other posts you might enjoy:
• What is a braiser? What is a French oven? Should you invest?
• Chicken Recipes for Your Braiser
• Other Braiser Recipes on This Website
• The Braiser Cookbook: 22 irresistible recipes created just for your braiser-great for Le Creuset, Lodge, All-Clad, Staub, Tromantina, and all other braiser pans.
• Recipe and Review of Molly Steven’s “All About Braising” (a book you’ll really want to have if you’re serious about braising!
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon paprika, smoked paprika, or Piment d'Espelette
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 3 celery ribs, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3 x ½-inch sticks
- 2 leeks (white part and 1 inch green), rinsed and cut into julienne
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons solid vegetable shortening
- ⅓ cup milk
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and paprika. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a 3½-quart braiser. Add the chicken and cook, turning as needed, until the chicken is brown on all sides.
- Add the broth to the pan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add the celery, carrots, leeks, and onion. Return to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not mushy and the chicken is done.
- Meanwhile, make the dumplings: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, pepper, and the 2 tablespoons parsley. Using a pastry blender, cut in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the milk; stir until combined. Gather into a ball and knead against the bowl a couple of times. Then, cut the dumplings into 12 pieces, and roll each piece into a ball.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables and chicken to a bowl; cover to keep warm. Bring the broth to simmer and drop the dumplings into it. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until they are puffed and cooked through (a toothpick test works here).
- Meanwhile, shred the chicken into 1 to 2-inch pieces.
- After the dumplings are finished return the veggies and chicken to the braiser (scoot the dumplings around so that they stay on top of everything else). Cover and heat through.
- Serve in shallow bowls, with three dumplings per person for hearty appetites; two dumplings for lighter appetites.