Chicken and Dumplings

Recipes for chicken and dumplings were brought to America by French, German British and eastern European immigrants, just to name a few. And variations can be found among the Pennsylvania Dutch and in the Deep South, the Midwest, and New England. 

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 frying or stewing chicken, cut into serving pieces and skinned
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 cups chicken stock
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs marjoram
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen peas

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking power
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley for garnish: 
Combine the flour and salt in a resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the bag several pieces at a time, and shake to coat completely. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, for 5-7 minutes, until browned on both sides. Using tongs, transfer to paper towels to drain, then place in the slow cooker.

Add the onion and celery to the remaining flour in the bag and shake to coat. Set the sauté pan over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. 

Add the onion and celery and sauté, stirring frequently, for 10-15 minutes, until browned. Gradually add the stock, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the sauce is somewhat thickened. Stir in the carrots, marjoram, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the chicken in the slow cooker.

     Cover and cook on low heat for 3 1/2 hours, then on high for 30 minutes before dropping in the dumplings.

     To prepare the dumplings, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Stir to blend. Bring the butter and milk to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Drizzle into the dry ingredients and mix well. This will be a fairly dry dough.

     Using a large spoon or your hands, form the dough into 6 loose ovals or rounds, about 2 inches in diameter.

     Add the peas to the slow cooker and mix well. Place the dumplings on top of the stew. Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in a dumpling comes out clean.

     Remove and discard the marjoram. Spoon the stew into shallow bowls, dividing the chicken and dumplings evenly. Garnish with the parsley and serve immediately.

     Serves 4-6

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