Tuesday, May 17, 2011

chicken with cornmeal dumplings... 1 hour and 15 minutes

the goods:

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 boneless,skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 bunch scallions, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and diced medium
2 celery stalks, diced medium
2 medium carrots, diced medium
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 bottles pilsner or another light-bodied lager (12 ounces each)
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes
1 to 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

cornmeal dumpling dough:
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup fine yellow cornmeal
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk

In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot with tight-fitting lid, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons butter, scallions, bell pepper, celery, and carrots to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until scallions and celery are soft, about 4 minutes. Stir in thyme and flour and season with salt and pepper; cook 1 minute. Return chicken to pot and whisk in beer. With your hands, roughly tear tomatoes and add to pot along with juices. Bring to a rapid simmer and cook, uncovered, 30 minutes. Season to taste with vinegar.

Meanwhile, make the dumpling dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers, work in butter until small crumbs form. Stir in buttermilk.

Reduce heat to a medium simmer and drop dough by rounded tablespoons on top of stew. Cover and simmer until dumplings are cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes.

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