Will the winter ever end? Cold nights & chilly winds beg for rich, satisfying dishes. Here’s a version of this old classic comfort dish that I worked up to use a chicken I had hot-smoked on my new grill. You could also use a chicken that you have roasted, or, in a real pinch, a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. The aroma from this rib-sticker is enough to make you swoon, so watch the door & warn folks coming in from outside to take care entering the kitchen.
Smoked Chicken & Dumplings
1 smoked chicken, skin & bones removed & roughly chunked
6 tablespoons + 3 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, chopped
10 ounces Shitake mushrooms
1/2 cup + 2 cups flour
4 cups chicken stock
4 medium carrots, chopped small
4 large celery ribs, chopped small
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon + 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 cup + 1 cup milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
juice from 1 lemon
In a 12-inch sauté pan, sauté onions in butter until soft, then add 1/2 cup flour and stir for 2 minutes. Add stock and stir until flour is dissolved. Increase heat to high, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots, thyme, oregano, salt & cayenne, lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
In medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, 1 tablesoon baking powder, & 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bring 1 cup milk and 3 tablespoons butter to simmer in small saucepan, then add to dry ingredients and stir well to combine. Form into 1-1/2-inch balls.
Add chicken & milk to sauté pan, stir and bring back to simmer, stir in lemon, then taste for salt. Arrange dumplings in pan. Cover & simmer for 10 minutes, then serve.