Perfect Snowed in Meal: Chicken and Ricotta Dumplings

I am beating myself left and right, up and down for abandoning my blog for in my opinion way too long... I have no more excuses and nor am allowing myself to make up anymore. I have been a pretty busy lady these past months, with my sisters wedding last fall, being very sickly and sore during my holidays back in Singapore, and not to mention a very depressing but minor surgery for my sinus issue. Thinking of it now... I do have an excuse... How does one cook without my olfactory senses!?! ...I was so stuffed up I cried, depressed and thought perhaps this is it...will I ever taste and smell again?

Thank the Lord I did my surgery! I am all cleared up and ready to cook up a storm.

First up, Chicken and Dumplings. I do not know why I have never made this before. Maybe because I've been living in the tropics for my whole life and never had the craving for a hot stewy dish. But now in Boston, I have all the reason to make this, especially on a cold snowy day.

the recipe for you to enjoy, please tell me how it goes!

Chicken and Dumplings

1.5 quart chicken broth
4 chicken thighs (skins off)
5 carrots (oblique cut)
3 stalks celery (sliced in half moons)
1 large onion (medium diced)
2 T olive oil
1 T dried thyme
1 bay leaf
a dash of dried ginger
kosher salt and pepper to taste

blond roux
1/2 stick butter
1/2 c all purpose flour

Ricotta Dumplings

1lb drained ricotta
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 beaten egg
1 T kosher salt
2 dashes of nutmeg
1/4 c fine grated parmesan

If you bought supermarket ricotta then there is no need for draining.
In a medium sized bowl lightly combine ricotta, flour, egg, salt, nutmeg, and parmesan cheese. Do not overwork the dough as it can get tough when worked around too much. Once combined wrap the sticky dough in plastic wrap and allow it to rest for 1 hour.

Prepare a sheet pan with parchment for your ricotta dumplings.
Once rested, lightly flour your work surface. Divide your dough into 4 and work with a quarter one at a time. Begin rolling out the dough into a long rope 1/2 inch thick or so. Cut into 1/2 inch pillows and place it on the parchment making sure you allow some space between each so they don’t stick to each other. If you want to freeze them you can do so by freezing them on the sheet pan and once frozen transfer them to a ziploc bag. They can keep for 1 month. If you are cooking them fresh after making, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop them in, allow them to float to the surface and wait a couple seconds or so, pick them up with a slotted spoon and divide them in your bowls.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven and add onions. Sweat them with a hefty pinch of salt and a few cracks of the pepper grinder, do not brown them. Add thyme and ginger. Once the onions are translucent add the chicken thighs. Add carrots and celery and saute everything for a couple of minutes on medium high heat. Season again with salt and pepper. Add the chicken broth and bring it to a boil, then bring it down to a simmer with the lid on (leave it a crack open to let the steam out) Simmer for 45 minutes. Once chicken is tender, with a slotted spoon remove them onto a plate to cool. Once cool enough to touch, discard bones and shred chicken. Keep the dutch oven on low heat.

For the roux.
In a small pot, melt the butter on med-low heat. Once melted add the flour whisking thoroughly. Whisk occasionally, be careful not to burn the mixture. (It took about 5 minutes) Once done whisk the roux into the dutch oven and you’ll see the mixture begin to thicken. Add just enough of the roux for your desired thickness, I like mine to be like semi-thin gravy. Add shredded chicken back into the pot and heat it up to serve.

To plate.
Boil dumplings and divide into bowls, pour your hot chicken gravy on top and serve. (Garnish with shaved parmesan and parsley if you like)


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