Monday, November 25, 2013

Dutch Oven Chicken Stew & Dumplings

Yesterday morning we woke to temps in the low 30's and a high in the low 40's which quickly got my wife and I thinking about a hearty stew for dinner.  One of my Instragam peeps had passed along a chicken stew and dumplings recipe that seemed perfect for the Dutch oven.  We prepped everything before I went outside to work in the woods around our property for the afternoon and started a fire to keep the children warm and ready some coals for the Dutch oven as well.

In the end dinner came out great and I figured that I'd pass along the recipe in case there are other Dutch oven geeks out there who would like to give this a try.


INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • Kosher Salt/Black Pepper
  • 4 Stalks Celery - Chopped
  • 4 Carrots - Chopped
  • 3 Onions - Chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh Thyme
  • 2 Garlic Cloves - Chopped
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 6 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter - Melted
  • 3/4 Cup Buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley Leaves


DIRECTIONS:
  1. Heat the oil the Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Season the chicken with ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Brown the chicken breasts, 4 to 6 minutes per side, then transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the celery, carrots, onions, thyme, and garlic to the drippings in the pot and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add the chicken, bay leaves, and 10 cups water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.  Discard the bay leaves and transfer the chicken to a plate to cool.  Shred the chicken and return it to the pot.
  3. Whisk together ½ cup of the flour, 2 cups of the cooking liquid, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Slowly whisk the flour mixture back into the pot and simmer until slightly thickened.
  4. Make the dumplings by whisking together the remaining 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, baking soda, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper in a medium bowl.  Whisk in the butter, buttermilk, and parsley.  Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into the broth.  Cover and simmer until the dumplings are firm.  Serve sprinkled with parsley.



There are a couple things to consider when cooking with a Dutch oven.  First, this is slow cooking and this chicken stew and dumplings took over two hours from start to finish. 

Second, it's great to cook with wood but from the limited cooking I've done with the Dutch oven, I've found that it's better to use charcoal briquettes since they provide a heat that you can control and create more heat when and where you need it.  I went through a medium sized bag of charcoal while cooking dinner just to put it in perspective. 

Another thing that helped last night is that I made a triangle with large pieces of wood around the Dutch oven which held the cooking briquettes close to the cooking surface and gave me places on the backside of the wood to prep small piles of charcoal to use throughout the cooking process.

Cooking with Dutch ovens is a lot of fun and can create some truly wonderful meals.  What are your favorite Dutch oven recipes? 

5 comments:

Oliver said...

Looks delicious, I think posts like this are great and a nice change of pace!

My favorite dutch oven recipe is
no-knead bread, althought I think you might need an enameled dutch oven.. It's easy and ends up tasting and looking like artisan bread. Add some chunks of bacon, cheese, and sage to the dough and you've got a meal in itself.

link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/08mini.html

Bill Trussell said...

Cameron
There is just something about eating food prepared outside, and this dish is no exception. thanks for sharing

Cameron Mortenson said...

Oliver...no reason to talk about fly fishing all the damn time, eh? HA...

Bill...I totally agree.

Middlemac said...

Droooool......

joefriday said...

I'll have to check out this recipe!

On a sidenote, if you do a lot of cooking outdoors like this, you might want to investigate rocket stoves. You can either purchase them or build a basic one using $10 worth of bricks. They are fueled with sticks and once you get the hang of them you can control the temperature fairly well.