It’s the only universal meat in the entire world. Everyone is eating it! Roast it, fry it, keep it in brines and bath it in butter to shine. I am talking about CHICKEN!!! So with everyone eating this glorious bird, then it should be taken care of and respected. When I buy chicken there are certain things I look for. First off I am always buying organic and local when I can, because supporting your local farms keeps the healthy chicken coming. Not to mention it tastes a whole hell of alot better, try it yourself. Remember that commercial chicken has been treated in an unhealthy manner (Bad feed, poor living conditions and unfavorable). Where local and pasture raised chickens living conditions are more optimal. I believe in buying local. Especially, when I can see the chicken know it’s had a good life and it’s being properly respected (no mistreatment & GMO free feed).
My favorite application of chicken is in soul food, a mix of what I call “upstate comfort food” (Upstate NY’s version of comfort food). I got a chicken from Autumn Harvest Farms, a farm, I visit quite frequently. Their pasture raised chickens are full of flavor and live well before being sent to restaurants. I wanted to show Max one of my favorites “Chicken With Dumplings” a dish that dates back to pioneer times. This classic dish embraces the warmth of comfort food, showcasing passion and patience. I like to start off, by breaking down the chicken from its butchered form. I also love this dish because nothing is wasted. You use the whole chicken, every last part! Which is essential to the whole farm to table movement. The video below, we show you the step by step process. How to prepare and break down the chicken.
Chicken and Dumplings
- 4 Carrots
- 2 Red potatoes
- 1 Onion
- 4 Celery stalk
- 1 Chili arbol or 1 tsp cayenne pepper(optional)
- 4 Sprigs of rosemary
- 2 Sprigs thyme
- ⅓ Cup flour
- ½ Cup unsalted butter (1 stick butter)
- 2 Tsp salt
- 1 Tsp pepper
- 8 Cups Chicken stock
- ⅛ Cup of olive oil
- 2 Chicken legs
- 2 Chicken thighs
- 2 Chicken breasts
- 8 Qt Stock pot with lid
- Chef knife
- Cutting board
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons and cups
- Heat up the olive oil in the stock pot
- Add your chicken skin side down and sear. Heat up the olive oil in your stock pot over a med heat for about 1 min
- Add your chicken breasts, thighs, and legs skin side down
- Sear the meat for 3-5 mins until you can easily lift up and see the skin is a golden color
- Repeat the process for the other side of the chicken
- Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside
- Add your vegetables, herbs, butter and salt and pepper
- Saute the ingredients until the onions have begun to sweat
- Add your flour to the mixture and cook for a min stirring the entire time
- Add your chicken back to the pot and your chicken stock
- Stir the mixture gently to incorporate the flour and liquid
- Cook the soup over a low flame simmering the mixture for 3-4 hours or until the chicken falls off the bone.
- 1 Cup flour
- 4 Cups chicken stock
- 1 T Baking powder
- ¼ Cup milk or chicken stock
- 1 Tsp chopped parsley (optional)
- 1 Tsp salt
- 1 Tsp pepper
- Heat up your chicken stock
- While the chicken stock is heating up mix together your flour, baking powder, salt, pepper and parsley
- Using a fork mix together the ingredients until combined
- Add your milk or chicken stock and mix until a ball of dough forms
- When the chicken stock boils
- Using a spoon put a small scoop of dough about the size of a quarter into the boiling liquid
- Cook for about 3 mins or insert a pick into the dumpling and if it comes out clean they are done
- Repeat process until there is no more dough. You should be able to cook 4-6 dumplings per batch
Take your dumplings and in a shallow bowl stack them high. Pour a scoop of soup over the dumplings making sure to get a variety of vegetables and a piece of chicken in each bowl. Garnish with a parsley leaf and serve.
The soup is just the beginning to what you are capable of doing with this lovely bird. Go to your local farmer’s market and ask around which farmer sells whole chickens? Make sure they are using “organic” or “pasture raised” chickens. It can tend to be a little more expensive but the price of your health/ your loved ones is priceless. Remember to be creative and try different things.
I really enjoy the favors in this unique dish. The chicken was delicious, soft and full body. The chicken stock was delicious and really sets the tone for this dish. I image eating this dish throughout the winter months. With it warm feelings, chicken protein and dumplings that which up things. This is a great dish to serve on those cold winter nights, with lots of friends over. Everyone will love it!
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