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October 5, 2013

Autumn!!! ...& PW's Chicken and Dumplings

It's autumn!

We had an abnormally hot September which meant that there was tons of fresh produce available at the farmers market but I had absolutely no desire to cook it.

Normally back to school time is my favorite part of the year. It's exciting for the kids, it's a new chapter for everyone. It's easy to get caught up in that excitement and make personal resolutions for all the things I'm going to get done once they're in school. I've had a list a mile long of recipes I want to try, projects I want to start (and probably never finish), cleaning I need to do before the winter blahs set in, calendars filled with new routines and ways to work out because THIS is the year I'm going lose all that baby weight...you know, the stuff that started piling on 17 years ago and kept going until 2 years ago when Ari was born...

So this week October showed it's lovely, autumnal face. It's been crisp in the mornings and warm in the afternoons. The leaves are starting to turn colors, it's beautiful. This weather makes me want to cook - comfort foods and soups and stews - things like homemade spaghetti, chili, my curried butternut soup, PW's Chicken and Dumplings, Sandwiches with crisp fresh apples tucked inside, fresh baked cranberry-apple crisp and carrot cake and apple cider with cinnamon sticks. It's simply the best part of the year.

We always talk about moving somewhere warmer - every winter that drags on endlessly, every day it's 20 below. It gets downright frigid here come February! But I don't know if I could give up my seasons...I love how the changes mean new possibilities, how exciting it is when the first snow falls - how exciting it is when you get that first day in the spring that's over 40. I love the hot summer days on the beach and the harvest that comes with the fall. It's Minnesota, baby!

Last night I made chicken and dumplings for the first time ever. I used PW's recipe which is adapted from and old Gourmet recipe and it was actually really good. I am typically NOT a dumpling fan - I think they're bland and gummy and...ish.

But these were really really good. They were light, they were tasty, they were everything I always imagined a dumpling SHOULD be, but never are. Liam even liked them, even though earlier he claimed that dumplings make him puke. Max was the only one who wasn't a fan. Max isn't a fan of very many things, so I wasn't too worried, although when he tried them he said that they tasted like "potatoes and underpants" - ha! Not sure how he knows what underpants taste like...

I posted some pictures of the boys, and the food of course and copied and pasted the recipe below :)
I Hope you enjoy as much as we did!

"Mom! Take my picture! Know what this means? I love this dinner!"

Maxi taking a bite of his potato-ey underpants-ey dumplings...
This is Ari's "smile!" face for the camera. Ridiculous but adorable :)
My Lodge pot full of yummy autumnal goodness...
Look at those perfect dumplings! Rustic and wonderful!

Oh, and here's the recipe! (copied from PW's site)

Chicken and Dumplings


  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1 whole Chicken, Cut Into Pieces (cut Up Fryer)
  •  Salt And Pepper
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Carrots
  • 1/2 cup Finely Diced Celery
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Finely Diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 6 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 cup Apple Cider
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream

  • 1-1/2 cup All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 1-1/2 cup Half-and-half
  • 2 Tablespoons Minced Fresh Parsley (optional)
  •  Salt As Needed

Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then dredge both sides in flour.
Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In two batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a clean plate.
In the same pot, add diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in ground thyme and turmeric, then pour in chicken broth and apple cider. Stir to combine, then add browned chicken. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
While chicken is simmering, make the dough for the dumplings: sift together all dry ingredients, then add half-and-half, stirring gently to combine. Set aside.
Remove chicken from pot and set aside on a plate. Use two forks to remove chicken from the bone. Shred, then add chicken to the pot. Pour heavy cream into the pot and stir to combine.
Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
*Adapted from Gourmet Magazine