Friday, December 28, 2012

Salsa Verde Chicken with Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings

Happy Holidays!  Today I'm celebrating that we've survived the madness of shopping, cooking, wrapping, decorating and the like.  I love this time right before the new year begins.  The house is a wreck and we're making our to-do lists for next year but we get to sleep in, stay in our jammies until noon and generally recoup in front of a cozy fire while watching the snow fall.  And a big bowl of this is also not a bad thing!  Nice riff on the standard chicken and dumplings and with a few basics, we had this ready in no time with minimal effort. 

For chicken:
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 jar (16 ounces) salsa verde (2 cups)
1 can (5 ounces) evaporated milk (or 2/3 cup fat-free half and half)
1 rottiserie chicken cooked & deboned with meat chopped or at least 3-4 cups chicken

For the dumplings
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion greens
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, if desired

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof skillet. Cast iron is great too!  Whisk in the flour to make a paste. Add broth, salsa verde, and evaporated milk (or half and half) and whisk vigorously until thick and bubbly. Stir in chicken and turn heat to low to keep warm.

Dumplings:  Meanwhile, heat milk and butter in a small saucepan until warm but not boiling. Combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, scallions and cilantro in a separate bowl with a fork. Pour in milk mixture and stir to form a dough. Drop spoonfuls of dough into the skillet with chicken mixture.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes, until dumplings are cooked through, and the edges are crisp and golden brown.

Note: This meal can be made 2 days ahead up to the point of making the dumplings. Reheat it before topping and baking. If you want to double the recipe, use a large heavy roasting pan set over two burners.

Recipe and pic from Pam Anderson's Perfect One-Dish Dinners

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