recipe: chicken with herb dumplings and gravy / by kelly heaton

Adapted from Kittencalskitchen (2005)

Serves 6 - 8
NOTE:  You need 3 - 4 cups of homemade chicken stock for this recipe (prepare in advance).

◦    2 lbs chicken breasts (or other de-boned, skinless chicken)  
◦    Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste
◦    3 - 4 cups homemade chicken stock
◦    3/4 cup dry white wine
◦    3/4 cup flour, plus 3 tablespoons
◦    1/4 cup cornmeal
◦    1 teaspoon baking powder
◦    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
◦    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
◦    2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into very small pieces
◦    2-3 tablespoons shallots, chopped finely
◦    Zest of one lemon
◦    3 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped very fine
◦    1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
◦    1-2 Tbs olive oil
◦    2/3 cup buttermilk*

* Make your own buttermilk from milk and cider vinegar or lemon juice.  Combine 1 cup whole milk with 1 tablespoon cider vinegar or lemon; let stand at room temperature for 5 minutes before using.


Place 3-4 cups chicken broth and 3/4 cup wine in a large, deep skillet.  Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to very low.  Taste the liquid and correct salt.  Add the raw chicken and cook it slowly.  Flip the pieces of meat if necessary.  Do not overcook -- if anything, undercook just slightly.

While the chicken is cooking, prepare the dumplings.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine: 3/4 cup flour, 1/4 cup cornmeal, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tps baking soda, salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer onto a clean surface (in a pile) and use a pastry knife to cut in the cold butter.  Return to bowl.  Stir in the shallots, parsley and lemon zest to create a course mixture.  Add the buttermilk and combine all ingredients with your hands -- do not overwork!  The tiny pieces of butter will remain intact. Set the dough aside at room temperature.  (The dough will be a light green color.  If you don’t like a strong herb flavor, reduce the quantity of parsley and/or shallots accordingly).

When the chicken is just cooked, remove it from the skillet and set it aside to cool at room temperature.  Reserve the liquid in the skillet.  Turn the heat up to medium (simmering).  

In a separate bowl, use a whisk to combine the whipping cream and 3 tablespoons of flour until smooth.  You can add some hot broth from the skillet to aid this process.  Pour the cream and flour mixture into the the skillet and whisk all ingredients to combine in a smooth gravy.  Taste and correct salt and pepper as needed.

Use a large spoon to carefully “dollop” the dumpling batter into the skillet.  The batter will make 8 - 10 large dumplings.  Space them as far apart as possible because they will swell as they cook.  Do not layer them!  

Cover the skillet, reduce heat to low and lightly simmer for 12 - 15 minutes (until the tops of the dumplings are dry).  

While the dumplings are cooking, use your fingers to shred the chicken.  Season with salt and pepper. Add 1-2 tbs olive oil and toss to blend the flavors evenly.

Add the shredded chicken to the skillet on top of the dumplings.  Do not stir.  Cover and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Serve on a deep platter.