Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings with Cauliflower Puree

My sister came up to NYC to visit and in exchange for taking her to some amazing restaurants, she agreed to help me cook something for my blog.  Now I have to tell you that in addition to my mother, my sister is the reason I love to cook.  She falls asleep with the food network on and is always sending me new cookbooks, kitchen gadgets and great ideas.  When we were little she insisted our puppy's middle name be "molto" because  her obsession with Mario Batali.  She was 9.

It was her idea to create a dish using chicken.  Apparently, I don't use it enough.  In addition, we decided to recreate one of our mom's favorite- dumplings.  What does that leave you with but chicken and dumplings?!

In attempt to make this bite better, we decided to use cauliflower puree instead of butter, flour and cream-or whatever you use to make chicken and dumplings.  It's the perfect creation since cauliflower is in season and adds a delicious flavor while maintaining an ideal texture and color.  Not to mention, I got an immersion blender for christmas and I've been dying to make something other than smoothies.

 Chicken and Dumplings with Cauliflower Puree

Cauliflower Puree

1 head of Cauliflower
1 cup of water
1 cup of 1% milk
1/2 cup of chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste

Clean cauliflower and cut into small pieces.  Add 1 cup of water and about 3/4 of the cauliflower to a pot and bring to a boil.  Set remaining cauliflower aside.  Boil for about 5 minutes or until pieces are tender.  Add 1 cup of milk and puree using an immersion blender or food processor.  Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, blend until well mixed and add salt and pepper to taste.  The texture should be creamy and not too thick or too watery.  Set aside.

Whole Wheat Dumplings
1 cup of whole wheat flour
1 cup of regular flour
1 egg
1 cup of 1% milk

Bring a pot of water to a roaring boil.  Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.  Mixture should be think enough to maintain shape when scooped with a spoon.  Add a pinch of salt to the water.  Dip the spoon into the hot water then scoop a tablespoon amount of the mixture and dunk it into the hot water.  The mixture will fall off the spoon into the water on its own.  Add all the dumplings and allow them to boil until they rise to the top.  Strain and set aside.

Chicken and Dumplings
1 small onion
2 carrots
2 celery stalks
1 teaspoon of parsley, finely diced
2 teaspoons of rosemary, extra to finish
1 pound of chicken breast, cubed

In a pan gently saute the diced onion with a drizzle of olive oil.  Add the carrots, celery, rosemary and parsley and cook for about 5 minutes more.  In a glass dish, combine the sauteed mirepoix and spices with the chicken, dumplings and cauliflower puree.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and crumble the remaining cauliflower and rosemary on top.  Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and the cauliflower has a nice golden finish. Let stand for 10-15 minutes before serving.

What makes this bite better?
Using the cauliflower incorporates seasonal ingredients, ups the nutritional value and cuts excess fat and carbohydrates from the dish.  The additional whole wheat in the dumplings not only add a unique nutty flavor but extra servings of whole grains!

1 comment:

  1. So glad I got to cook with you =) This recipe was beyond delicious! Loved it!