The weather outside has finally gotten around to being fall weather.It's chilly in the morning,quite nice during the day and then back to chilly at night.And with the onset of chilly weather,I will have to dress more warmly when I go out gallivanting around town.Ok,so I don't gallivant but you know to work and the grocery and what other various outings may come up in my schedule,I will have to wear a scarf (there I said it). I've never been a huge fan of scarves.I 've had short hair for a while now and for the first few years with a short hairdo of some sort,I never wore a scarf.
One thing I will not miss out on in the upcoming-chilly-weather months is Chicken and Buttermilk-Thyme Dumplings.I got a new cookbook a few weeks ago when the weather was still summerish and with great anticipation, I picked out a few recipes I wanted to make.The cookbook is The Big Book of Soups and Stews and it lives up to it's name I tell ya.It's not a huge book really,BUT ! it has some tasty-sounding recipes and I've got dinner on those chilly fall evenings covered!
Chicken and Buttermilk-Thyme Dumplings
Inspired by The Big Book of Soups and Stews
Adapted by my brain
4TBL evoo, divided
2 pieces of bacon, cut into small strips
4 chicken legs
4 chicken thighs
-skin and extra pieces of fat removed
1 med onion, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, finely chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1/2tsp black pepper
6 cups low fat low sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp dried dill
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 TBL baking powder
1/4 tsp each: salt,black pepper,
¼ tsp dried thyme
1 cup buttermilk
1.In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the evoo over medium heat, cook bacon pieces in two batches.(if you cook it all at once it will wind steeping in it’s own juices and won’t be crispy).After bacon is cooked remove from the pot and pour off all but 1TBL of bacon fat. Brown the chicken pieces in 2 batches untl the skin on the outside is nice and crispy, but the chicken is not cooked all the way through,2-3 minutes per side, remove from the pot and set aside on a plate to rest.
2.Heat 2TBL evoo in the same pot and add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery and red pepper flakes. Season with salt and pepper Cook for 3 -5 minutes until the veggies are soft and just beginning to brown. Add the chicken AND any collected juices back in the pot, sort of nestle them into the veggies.(it will be a tight fit, a layered effect if you will).
3.Add the chicken stock,water,bay leaf,thyme and dill. Cover almost all the way with your lid and let cook on medium-low for 30-45 minutes, checking every 10minutes or so. When you notice the chicken has pulled away from the bone, it’s ready. Take it out, pull the meat off the bones, shred it and put it back in the pot.
5.While the chicken cooks in the pot o’goodness, make the dumplings: Whisk together the flour, baking powder,salt,black pepper,garlic powder, and thyme. Then stir in the 1 cup of buttermilk until all ingredients are sticky and dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. If you need to add in more buttermilk 1TBL at a time.
6.After you’ve added the shredded chicken back into the pot, using a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, coated with cooking spray, scoop out the dumplings and gently dump them on the top layer of the soup. Fill up the whole surface area of the soup with dumplings and cover the pot with the lid. Cook 10-12 minutes more and then test the dumplings to see if they’re done, they will be dry and bread-like in the center and all puffed up on the outside. Serve up in bowls and sprinkle the crispy bacon pieces on top and enjoy!