Tex-Mex Chicken Dumplings

I came across this fun new food blog one day, Homesick Texan. There are many new recipes I can't wait to try and this was the first one that caught my eye. It was a little labor intensive, but you could cut down the prep time by using canned chicken and store-bought chicken broth. The end result was really yummy...even on a hot summer day :-)!

For the chicken:
1 four-pound chicken
16 cups of water (1 gallon) (my pot only held 8...I added 2 cans of chicken broth at the end so there would be enough liquid for the soup)
1 onion
9 cloves of garlic, divided
2 carrots, peeled and cut into quarters
4 celery stalks, cut into quarters
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon dried or 1 stalk fresh epazote, optional (I didn't use)
1 leafy stem of cilantro, plus 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
1 can of Ro-Tel
2 jalapenos, sliced
1/4 cup cilantro
Juice of one lime
1/2 cup of cream
Salt, black pepper, cayenne and cumin to taste
For the cornmeal dumplings:
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 jalapeno, finely diced
2 tablespoons of minced cilantro

-Clean and rinse your chicken and place in a large stock pot. Add water, onion, 8 cloves of garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaves, epazote and whole cilantro stem. Add salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then simmer for an hour and a half, occasionally skimming the foamy scum off the surface.
-Remove chicken from pot and turn off the heat. After it’s cooled, remove fat and pick the meat off the bones and either shred or cut into bite-sized pieces. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper to taste.
-Take cooled broth and strain and throw out the vegetables as they’ve done their duty. Now you need to remove the fat from the broth. If you don’t have a preferred way of getting rid of the fat or lack a gravy separator, you can try the plastic bag method. Take a quart-sized plastic storage bag, pour some broth into it. You will see the fat rise to the top. Snip a bottom corner of the bag and drain the broth, stopping when you get to the fat layer. (You will probably have to do this in batches).
-Place the broth back into the pot and add the shredded chicken and lime juice. In a blender, add the can of Ro-Tel, sliced jalapenos, chopped cilantro and garlic and blend. Add puree to the pot. Now add the cream. Add salt, black pepper, cayenne and cumin to taste. Bring to a boil. And while the soup is coming to a boil, make the cornmeal dumplings.
-Sift together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder and salt. Beat the milk with the eggs and add to the dry ingredients. Stir in the melted butter, cilantro and jalapenos.
-When soup is boiling, turn heat down to low and gently drop the dumpling batter into the pot, one tablespoon or so at a time. Do not stir. Place lid on top and steam dumplings for 20 minutes.
-Ladle the chicken and dumplings into bowls and sprinkle cilantro on top. Serves six to eight.
Notes: If you want a thicker broth, feel free to add some flour. I'd add it slowly, a quarter cup at a time.


the Holyoaks said...

I love the Homesick Texan blog! Maybe it's because I'm a homesick Texan. She has some yummy sounding recipes for things like kolaches and pimento cheese--stuff we can't buy up here. These dumplings look great. I'll have to give them a try!