Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chicken and Vegetable Cobbler




An updated take on an old classic. I love that everything here can be done in one pot- from the chicken to the veggies to the dumplings/cobbler topping. It's a great fall or winter meal- warming and hearty. But, heck, I've also made it in the summer too. What can I say? I love dumplings.

I've slightly adapted the Mark Bittman's recipe from the New York Times' cooking section to include a little deglazing with wine and a few more carrots and leeks. But I have used his suggestion on buttermilk, which is an amazing trick and saves you from having to buy a quart of buttermilk for one recipe. But this is a recipe that is really easy to customize, so feel free to make it your own!

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 leeks, well washed and chopped

Salt and black pepper

2 cups quartered button mushrooms

1 1/2cups chicken stock

1 sprig fresh rosemary

4 medium carrots, cut into coins

1/4 cup white wine, preferably dry

2 boneless chicken thighs, diced

1 cup peas, frozen or fresh

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits

1/2 cup buttermilk (see note)

1 egg


Preparation

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, add the leek, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until liquid has released and evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes.

2. Add stock and rosemary; bring to a boil, and let bubble for a minute or two, then add carrots and chicken and reduce heat so the liquid simmers. Add the wine to deglaze the pan a bit, cooking it on medium until most of the wine has evaporated. Cook until carrots are almost tender and chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes. Next, add the peas and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are brightly colored and feel slightly soft, another minute or so. If you want, you can take out the rosemary at this point, but I just leave it in because I'm a sucker for rosemary.

3. Whisk cornstarch with a few tablespoons of broth to make a soupy paste. Add the paste to pot and stir until liquid thickens slightly. Transfer everything to an ovenproof dish and set aside.

4. Put flour in a food processor with baking powder, soda and salt. Add butter and process until mixture resembles small peas, no more than 30 seconds. I actually prefer to do this by hand, basically because I hate getting out the food processor and it's fairly easy to get the same consistency by mashing the mixture together with a fork or a pastry cutter. Transfer mixture to a bowl and mix in buttermilk and egg until it just comes together; it should be sticky.

5. With a 1/4 cup, scoop up the batter and drop it on top of the vegetables and chicken. You want to cover most of the surface, but make sure to leave a few gaps between the dumplings for steam to escape.

6. Bake for about 45-50 minutes until golden on top and bubbly underneath. Scoop into bowls and serve immediately.



Note: If you don’t have buttermilk, gently warm milk until it’s about 100 degrees; stir in a couple of teaspoons of vinegar and let sit for 5 minutes.

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