I was first introduced to Chicken and Dumplings at Carver's Applehouse in Cosby, Tennessee while on my friend Jesse's BBQ bachelor party road trip. If you don't know, Chicken and Dumplings is a stew with chicken and vegetables with scoops of dough cooked in/on top of the stew. After I crossed back over the Mason-Dixon, I discovered this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, and last fall my sister and I spent a lengthy, but worthwhile, afternoon cooking what is truly an amazing recipe. When it is cold again and you have some time and want something delicious and cozy to eat, you should make it.
Of course, June isn't chicken and dumplings weather, but it IS strawberry season and knowing how delicious Smitten Kitchen's chicken and dumpling recipe was, I had no choice but to try out her strawberries and dumplings recipe after going a little strawberry crazy at the food coop last week.
1 quart (about 2 pints or 4 cups) strawberries, trimmed and thickly sliced
1/4 cup sugar
juice of half a lemon
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup whole milk (I went all out and bought unhomogenized milk -- it comes with cream on top!)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Accompaniment: Heavy cream (I didn't get heavy cream since I didn't want to buy so many full fat dairy products, but I would recommend getting it, or making whipped cream or adding Greek yogurt. I had the leftovers the following day with low fat plain yogurt and even that was tasty)
Stir together strawberries, sugar and lemon in a 4-quart heavy saucepan and let stand, stirring occasionally, until juicy, about 15 minutes. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Stir the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Heat the milk and butter together until just the butter melts. Stir the warmed milk mixture into the flour mixture with a wooden spoon until incorporated and smooth. Gather a golf-ball-sized portion of the batter onto a small spoon, then push the dumpling onto the stew using a second spoon. (Smitten Kitchen says this gets you 16 dumplings -- I halved the recipe but I only got six dumplings...maybe golf balls are smaller than I think they are?)
Tightly cover the saucepan and reduce heat to low. Cook, undisturbed, until dumpling looks dry on top, 15 to 18 minutes; the dumplings will have doubled in size. Let stand off heat, uncovered, five minutes, then drizzle with heavy cream right before serving.