This is a dish that was beloved in our family. My grandmother would make the best dumplings (domplines). And my Mom would make the fried or roasted chicken. My father, my uncles and I would scarf it up. Sometimes we would have the dish three times a week, it was so tasty.
Later in life, when I was either too lazy or pressed for time, I would use store-bought rotisserie chicken rather than make it from scratch. Now, I know, the purists among you are saying, how barbaric! store-bought chicken? Hey, listen guys, there are places nowadays where you can buy organic rotisserie chicken, and it ain’t that expensive. So, for a quick, satisfying dinner, this is it.
For this entrée, my grandma’s dumplings are quick and easy to make, The best ever. However, over years of practice, I’ve discovered that adding a little cornmeal to the basic dumpling mix gives the dish an added dimension of flavor. As for the chicken, sometimes you may want to liven up the rotisserie bird you get from the store. Thus, I concocted a salsa verde mix to go with the chicken, given it a bit of a Mexican slant. Think the recipe as a Nuyorican dish with a bit of Tex-Mex thrown in.
POLLO CON DOMPLINES
(Chicken with Dumplings)
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (leaves and tender stems)
1 cup whole milk
7 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup chicken broth
1 16-oz jar salsa verde (about 2 cups)
1 5-oz can evaporated milk
1 2-3 pound rotisserie chicken, cut into large serving pieces
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and adjust rack to the lower middle position.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Stir in onion and cilantro.
- In a small saucepan, heat the milk and 3 tablespoons butter over medium heat until steamy. Stir into the flour mixture to form a smooth, firm dough. Set aside.
- Heat the reaming 4 tablespoons butter in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat until foamy. Whisk in the chicken broth, salsa verde and evaporated milk. until smooth. Bring to a boil, stir in the chicken, and simmer until sauce is thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Pinch the dough into pieces the size of a ping-pong ball (you should get about 10 balls) and drop into chicken mixture. Cover and transfer skillet to oven. Bake until the dumplings are puffed and cooked through, about 15 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 4-6 servings.