Lighter Chicken and Dumplings

From America's Test Kitchen Season 11: Dutch Oven Classics

Why this recipe works:

Our ideal chicken and dumpling recipe has dumplings as airy as drop biscuits in a broth full of clean, concentrated chicken flavor. We found that browning the chicken thighs and then adding canned chicken broth produced the most flavorful mixture, while adding dry sherry (which we prefer over… read more

Our ideal chicken and dumpling recipe has dumplings as airy as drop biscuits in a broth full of clean, concentrated chicken flavor. We found that browning the chicken thighs and then adding canned chicken broth produced the most flavorful mixture, while adding dry sherry (which we prefer over white wine or vermouth) gave our broth a pleasant acidity and depth. Adding chicken wings (which are rich in collagen) later gave the stew body without the sludginess of flour. For a light but sturdy dumpling recipe with good flavor, we came up with a formula that employed buttermilk for flavor and eliminated baking powder, which was making the dumplings dense. Wrapping the lid of the Dutch oven in a kitchen towel to prevent moisture from saturating our light-as-air dumplings was the final step in perfecting our chicken and dumpling recipe.

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Serves 6

We strongly recommend buttermilk for the dumplings, but it’s acceptable to substitute ½ cup plain yogurt thinned with ¼ cup milk. If you want to include white meat (and don’t mind losing a bit of flavor in the process), replace 2 chicken thighs with 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 8 ounces each). Brown the chicken breasts along with the thighs and remove them from the stew once they reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees, 20 to 30 minutes. The collagen in the wings helps thicken the stew; do not omit or substitute. Since the wings yield only about 1 cup of meat, using their meat is optional. The stew can be prepared through step 3 up to 2 days in advance; bring the stew back to a simmer before proceeding with the recipe.

Ingredients

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