Monday was rainy, chilly and a bit dreary. A perfect day for homey chicken and dumplings and apparently waging war with ants who wanted to seek shelter from the rain-yikes! This is one of those dishes we will be eating off of all week and I don’t think anyone minds. Grace loved it so much; she efficiently gulped it down sans spoon. While Chris loves dumplings, I’m not really a fan of their chewy, gooey consistency. I opt for browning some biscuit batter in the skillet before cooking the rest of the ingredients and just serving the “dumplings” on top. This will provide a great crispy fluffy consistency on top, but will still be able to soak up all the goodness underneath. I took a shortcut by using a whole cooked chicken from Whole Foods and I am so glad I did. It saved lots of time, but still tasted delicious. Additionally, mixing some of the dumpling/biscuit dough into the dish allows for a nice roux yielding a great thick (almost creamy taste) and a deep golden brown color. Enjoy and stay dry everyone!
Chicken & Sage Pecorino Dumplings:
Serves: 6-8 including an 11.5 month old
For the “dumplings:
- 3 slices bacon (reserving grease)
- 1 cup flour
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- Handful of sage leaves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons grated Pecorino cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
For the rest:
- 1 onion, sliced
- 5 carrots, sliced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 3 sweet potatoes, washed and cubed
- 1 & 1/2 quarts chicken stock
- 1/2 bag frozen spinach
- 1 cooked rotisserie chicken, de-boned and chopped
- In a dutch oven or your go-to soup pot, fry bacon on medium heat. Once cooked remove from pot (leave grease), chop (once cooled) and set aside.
- Make the dumplings. Combine all dry ingredients (including the Pecorino cheese and sage leaves) in a mixing bowl and stir together with a fork. Using a cheese grater, grate butter into flour mixture. Incorporate butter into flour mixture using a pastry cutter or the back of a fork. Slowly drizzle in buttermilk and combine.
- Add a little olive oil to your pot if needed and in batches, scoop out about a tablespoon of the dumpling batter and fry in your dutch oven on medium high heat until golden brown and beginning to firm. About 3 minutes per side. Use all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the batter.
- Set dumplings aside with bacon.
- Adding more olive oil if needed, add all the vegetables except for the frozen spinach to the pot and brown on medium high heat, stirring often for about 15 minutes until slightly browned, and beginning to soften.
- Add the reserved dumpling batter to the vegetables and stir.
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- Add frozen spinach, chopped bacon and chicken and let simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- Laddle into soup bowls, placing a few dumplings over each.
- Garnish with green onions and enjoy!