Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Tex-Mex Chicken and Dumplings

I made this last Tuesday.  I definitely recommend the recipe but not for a typical Tuesday. It is more of a 4-5 hour affair, so it's more of a weekend dish.

Now I made it because it had been on my Pinterest page for over a year. I also was feeling sick and wanted a Pot-Pie or Chicken Noodle Soup.  So I decided we would have this.

It was pretty easy, although tedious.  And if you are recovering from a fractured back it may be a bit difficult (I had to figure out some things when it came to involving lifting a gallon of water in a cast-iron pot.

Overall, it was good.  I definitely would have again.  The Nutritional Information is probably a little off because I included all the vegetables.

It created about 8 servings.  We eye-balled the serving size.

Tex-Mex Chicken and Dumplings

Photo by ALB

From Lisa Fain, The Homesick Texan
Servings 8.0

For the chicken:
1 four-pound chicken
16 cups of water (1 gallon)
1 onion
9 cloves of garlic, divided
2 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
4 celery stalks, cut into quarters
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried or 1 stalk fresh epazote (optional)- didn't use
1 leafy stem of cilantro
Added 1 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 can of Ro-Tel
2 jalapenos, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice of one lime (used 1/4 C, because there's a lime shortage at Kroger)
1/2 cup of cream
Salt (1/2 tsp), black pepper (1 tsp), cayenne (1/2 tsp) and cumin (1 tsp) to taste
Added 1/2 tsp of chipotle chile powder

For the cornmeal dumplings:
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 jalapeno, finely diced
2 tablespoons of minced cilantro

Clean and rinse your chicken and place in a large stock pot. Add water, onion, 8 cloves of garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, epazote and whole cilantro stem. Add salt (1/2 tsp) and pepper (1 tsp) to taste (don't do this since the chicken is raw). Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour and a half, occasionally skimming the foamy scum off the surface.

Photo by ALB

Remove chicken from pot and turn off the heat. After it’s cooled, remove fat and pick the meat off the bones and either shred or cut into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste (didn't do the s/p thing).

Take cooled broth and strain and throw out the vegetables as they’ve done their duty. Now you need to remove the fat from the broth. If you don’t have a preferred way of getting rid of the fat or lack a gravy separator, you can try the plastic bag method. Take a quart-sized plastic storage bag, pour some broth into it. You will see the fat rise to the top. Snip a bottom corner of the bag and drain the broth, stopping when you get to the fat layer. (You will probably have to do this in batches...yes, yes, you do).

Place the broth back into the pot and add the shredded chicken and lime juice. In a blender, add the can of Ro-Tel, sliced jalapenos, chopped cilantro and garlic and blend. Add puree to the pot. Now add the cream. Add salt, black pepper, cayenne and cumin (and chipotle chile powder) to taste. Bring to a boil. And while the soup is coming to a boil, make the cornmeal dumplings.

Sift together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Beat the eggs with the buttermilk and add to the dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter, jalapenos and cilantro.

When soup is boiling, turn heat down to low and gently drop the dumpling batter into the pot, one tablespoon or so at a time. Do not stir. Place lid on top and steam dumplings for 20 minutes.

Ladle the chicken and dumplings into bowls and sprinkle cilantro on top. Serves six to eight.

Notes: If you want a thicker broth, feel free to add some flour. I'd add it slowly, a quarter cup at a time (didn't do)

Nutritional Information
Calories: 664; Total Fat: 52 g; Saturated Fat: 17 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 320 mg; Sodium: 1049 mg; Potassium: 570 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 26 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 5 g; Protein 56 g

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