Monday, July 2, 2012

avocado chicken and dumplings

Avocado chicken and dumplings
I've mentioned before that I love chicken and dumplings, and that for some reason I make northern-style chicken and dumplings, with drop biscuit dumplings instead of flat noodle dumplings. I don't think I have pointed out this variation, though: sometimes, in order to keep the biscuits from spreading like Mason jar gummi bears into the chicken stock, I sear them in the pan before adding everything else.

The whole thing is still very basic -

Start with a good strong chicken stock (it should be strong enough to gel in the fridge) and add the vegetables of your choice - typically onion, carrot, and celery for me - and some chicken (it's a good way to use up leftover roast chicken). Simmer until everything is cooked through and then add a pureed avocado. Okay, so that's the weird part, I guess - you can skip it, I just had an avocado to use up. Now salt it. Mine is also seasoned with tarragon - I'm using a lot of tarragon lately simply because I have a lot in my garden.

You can make as much of that chicken stew as you like and then reheat it to order, adding the dumplings to the reheated portion (dumpling dough will keep in the fridge) rather than cooking a bunch of dumplings up front and having them sit in the fridge soaking up all the stock.

The dumplings are a basic biscuit dough - add chicken fat (reserved from making the stock) to self-rising flour until it clumps up into pea-sized clumps, add enough buttermilk for it to hold together, season as you like (tarragon and celery leaves for me).

Now, instead of dropping the dumplings into simmering stock, melt a little butter in a pan and brown the dumplings - spoonful-sized drops, the size of Tollhouse cookies - on both sides. Takes a couple minutes. Add a serving of chicken stew, cover, and simmer for ten minutes.

The sriracha is just cause I was in the mood.

Meanwhile, I also played around with some of my cheeses from Wegmans, adding quadrello di bufala and Humboldt Fog to a pepperoni pizza (with basil - again, the garden - under the cheese):

Pepperoni, Humboldt Fog, Quadrello di bufala pizza
Good, good stuff, though I wouldn't use up too much of the quadrello this way - it blends in too much for the flavor to really stand out as much as it deserves.

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