Chicken and Dumplings


From Atlanta Kitchens: Recipes from Atlanta’s Best Restaurants
Originally from the kitchen of Cakes & Ale, Gibbs Smith

Cakes & Ale—the hip little Decatur haven for farm-to-table foodies—offers a European-inspired twist to this Southern classic. The dumplings are actually the little potato-y dough puffs known in Italy as gnocchi.

Potato Dumplings:
2 large russet or baking potatoes
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 small egg or 1/2 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup “00” flour (may substitute all-purpose flour)
Rice flour, to dust
2 tablespoons butter

1 (2 1/2-pound) chicken
4 quarts chicken broth
1 large bay leaf
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 carrot, diced
1 cup diced young turnip
1 rib celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup fresh black-eyed peas
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/4 pound wild mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. To make the dumplings, cover the potatoes with water in a saucepan, and boil until the potatoes are easily pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes. Remove from the water, and let steam for 2 minutes. It is important to make the dough while the potatoes are still hot. Hold the hot potatoes in a towel with one hand, and carefully remove the peels. Puree through a food mill or ricer onto a clean counter. Flatten the potato to make a circle about 1/2-inch-thick. Sprinkle evenly with the salt, and rub the egg over the surface. Evenly cover the surface of the potatoes with the “00” flour. Gently knead the dough until well combined, and shape into a large log, 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Let rest 5 minutes.

2. To prepare the chicken, put the chicken into a large pot, cover with the broth, and add a bay leaf. Bring to a boil, and skim off any impurities that rise to the surface. Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and leave the chicken for 1 hour.

3. Remove the chicken from the pot, and strain the poaching liquid. (Reserve 4 cups for this recipe.) When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove all chicken meat from the bones and set aside.

4. While the chicken is being poached, dust a sheet pan with rice flour.

5. Cut the dough into pieces 2 inches in length and roll each piece into a rope about 1/2 inch in diameter. Cut into dumplings approximately 1 inch long with pastry cutter. Sprinkle with a little rice flour, and gently toss to coat. Place on the prepared sheet pan.

6. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan, and add the carrot, turnip, celery, onion, and salt. Saute 3 to 5 minutes, until vegetables are limp. Add the flour and stir until vegetables are coated. Add the reserved poaching liquid, and bring to a boil; skim fat from the surface. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until the liquid is thick.

7. To blanch the black-eyed peas, bring 2 quarts salted water to a rapid boil, add the peas, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.

8. Heat a saute pan to very hot, and add the vegetable oil. Add the mushrooms and the remaining butter. Cook 5 minutes, until slightly brown.

9. Add the mushrooms, thyme, chicken, black-eyed peas, and cream to the simmering vegetable mixture. Heat through. Add the parsley, tarragon, lemon zest, and salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm.

10. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Melt 2 tablespoons butter, and pour into a bowl. Add the dumplings to the boiling water, and cook only until they rise to the surface. Remove with a slotted spoon, and put in the bowl with the butter. Toss to coat, and sprinkle with salt.

11. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

12. Pour the chicken mixture into 8 small or 1 large casserole dish. Cover the chicken with dumplings and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, until the top is slightly brown. Serve hot.

Serves 8.