"Perhaps the most impressive of all the cookbook blogs are the three devoted to the 2004 edition of Gourmet magazine's "The Gourmet Cookbook" -- all 5¼ pounds and 1,300-odd recipes of it. Befitting this culinary Everest, all three writers are overachievers in their professional lives."

--Lee Gomes, The Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2008
"I should have told you before how much I've been enjoying reading your thoughts. You seem like such a great cook."

--Ruth Reichl, Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet Magazine, June 8 2008, comment on "Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream".

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings, or, Melissa Cooks the Last Chicken Recipe!

Now, don't get overly excited. Notice I didn't say I had cooked the last Poultry recipe, which includes such as-yet-uncooked adventures like "Fragrant Crispy Duck" which asks you to 1. Marinate the Duck 2. Steam the Duck 3. Air-Dry the Duck 4. Fry the Duck and then (presumably) 5. Eat the Duck.

But still, the bulk of the poultry chapter is dedicated to chicken and there are no less than 30 recipes, all of which I have now cooked, Yay Me!!!!!

I've been waiting for the cooler weather to make Chicken with Cornmeal Dumplings, and the seasons have finally conspired to help me out. Chilly, blustery days with fall leaves skittering around? Perfect for this meal.

Although I can count on one hand (or maybe two) the number of times I've made dumplings, I always love them when I eat them. Surely they must be on a list somewhere of Comfort Food. Topped with a nice pan gravy--mmmmm.

This is a pretty easy recipe--I would say do-able for a weeknight if you're not in a super-hurry. Brown chicken pieces in a pan, deglaze with wine and shallots, then cook chicken til done. Take out the chicken (keep warm!) and use the cooking liquid as the base for a gravy, adding stock, flour and cream. Cook the dumplings in this for 15-20 mins--and the dumplings are just the usual suspects in the baking dept plus cornmeal and herbs. I didn't even bother with buying buttermilk--just soured my own milk with vinegar.

Good stuff, people!

So I'm looking back over these chicken recipes trying to pick a favorite...I remember being astonished that I didn't need toothpicks for Chicken Kiev...amazed at the complex richness of Chicken in Pumpkin Seed Sauce...expanded (in a horizons way, not a saddlebag way) by the flavors of Individual B'stillas (Moroccan Chicken and Almond Pie) and appreciative of the lean tastiness of Asian Chicken and Water Chestnut Patties. And also I'm remembering how very very very cross I was making two of these recipes, Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic, and Hunan-Style Tea-Smoked Chicken.

So, what do I have left in the Poultry Department? Here's what you can look forward to in the days, months, no doubt years to come:

Roast Turkey with Herbed Bread Stuffing and Giblet Gravy
Oyster Stuffing
Sausage Fennel Stuffing
Chestnut Stuffing
Grilled Turkey with Cranberry Gravy
Pistachio Turkey Ballottine with Madeira Sauce
Turkey Breast Stock
Bacon-Wrapped Cornish Hens with Raspberry Balsamic Glaze
Morrocan-Style Roast Cornish Hens with Vegetables
Fragrant Crispy Duck
Glazed Duck with Clementine Sauce
Spiced Roast Goose with Dried Fruit
Roast Capon with Chile Cilantro Rub and Roasted Carrots
Roasted Poussins with Cumin and Lemon
Roasted Guinea Hens with Whole-Grain Mustard and Herbs
Braised Pheasant with Red Cabbage and Wild Rice
Roasted Squab
Squab Salmi
Minced Squab and Pork with Rice Stick Noodles
Rabbit with Mustard Sauce

This should be interesting because I don't even know what half of those things are. And I should say it's what I have to look forward to because after all I'm the one eating them! Although please note that some of these feed many people so local folks you may be called upon to help us eat these delicious meals. Yay more dinner parties!


Georgia said...

Thanks for the DIY buttermilk tip.

Any cook-through bloggers in NYC? Maybe you can meet-up with them and I can be a taster?!

Btw, dumplings are definitely comfort food in Jamaica.

Georgia said...

More about DIY buttermilk: http://www.joythebaker.com/blog/2009/10/the-best-buttermilk-substitutions