This is a real down-home dish, the kind of food you fix for a large family. It’s sure to bring back memories for anyone who ever lived in a small town or visited relatives in the country.
Makes 8 servings
½ teaspoon Chef Paul Prudhomme's Gumbo Filé (filé powder, or ground sassafras), optional
2 (2½-3-pound) chicken fryers, each cut into 8 pieces
1 cup all purpose flour
vegetable oil, for frying
Dumplings (recipe follows)
2 quarts chicken stock
3 cups chopped onions
3 cups chopped green bell peppers
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
How To Prepare
Sprinkle the chicken evenly with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the Seasoning Mix(or Poultry Magic® alone) and rub it in well.
Combine 1 tablespoon of the seasoning with the flour in a paper or plastic bag. Place the chicken pieces in the bag and shake to coat, reserving the leftover flour mixture for the roux.
Heat 1 inch of oil in a very large skillet over medium heat to 230º to 250º, and cook the chicken in batches, large pieces and skin side down first. An electric skillet works well for this, as the temperature is automatically maintained; if you're not using an electric skillet, adjust the heat to maintain the oil's temperature. Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 30 minutes, and drain on paper towels.
Meanwhile, make the [dumpling](../../site.php?pageID=300&view=224) dough and set aside.
Combine the stock, onions, bell peppers, cream and the remaining seasoning in a 6-quart pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bell peppers darken in color, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the [dumplings](../../site.php?pageID=300&view=224) by dropping the batter by teaspoonfuls onto a rack in a steamer and steaming until cooked through, about 5 to 7 minutes. If you don't have a steamer, use a colander over a small amount of water in a large saucepan, and cover with a lid or aluminum foil.
To thicken the sauce, make a roux by stirring together the melted butter and 2 tablespoons of the reserved seasoned flour. Stir in ½ cup of liquid from the chicken pot, and return this to the pot. Cover and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the dumplings and stir gently. Cook until the dumplings are heated through, about 2 minutes.
To serve, place 2 pieces of chicken and 5 dumplings on each plate. Top with ½ cup sauce. (Any leftover sauce is great taken out on the back porch and eaten as soup.)