For this past Christmas, my husband gave me Gordon Ramsay Makes It Easy cookbook. I find Gordon Ramsay to be a very curious man. He has a temper to boot and a mouth that my children should never be around for fear of what they may repeat, but his dishes always look superb and mouth watering. I'm pretty sure I'd never want to have to work for him. Either my own sometimes sassiness would get me in trouble or I'd simply feel terrible every time I'd make a mistake. With that being said (or written in this case) I've enjoyed perusing through my new cookbook and there are plenty of recipes I hope to share, however the first one I was drawn to was his Chicken Casserole, mostly because, as I mentioned in my Roasted Beef Stew post, I've been on a one pot meal kick. Especially the ones that leave me with leftovers for dinner on another night and this dish did just that.
I've made this recipe several times now and there's only one thing I'd change. I don't believe the dumplings are necessary. My husband and I both preferred a couple slices of fresh baked sourdough bread for sopping up the liquid, the dumplings were just a bit too much and don't store well if you want to have leftovers.
Note: I added some of my personal notes for the recipe in red. I also did a whole wheat dumpling the second time I made this recipe, which is what appears in the photos.
For the Chicken Casserole
8-12 chicken portions (legs, thighs, etc)
I used 5 whole chicken leg/thigh pieces
4 cups (1 liter) chicken stock
4 celery stalks, halved
2 leeks (white part only), finely chopped
2 red onions, cut into wedges
4 carrots, chopped
chop carrots so they're a couple of inches long
2 parsnips, chopped
1 celeriac, finely diced
1 bay leaf
few thyme sprigs
to save money I used about 1 tsp. of dried thyme
1 lemon grass stalk
piece of fresh ginger root, bruised
I used a 2" piece
sea salt and pepper
For the Cilantro Dumplings:
1 3/4 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1 cup shredded suet or shortening
I didn't have either of these ingredients so I instead used cold lard
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro
How You'll Do It
1. Place chicken pieces in a large oval casserole, I used a large dutch oven, pour in stock and bring to a boil. Add all of the vegetables, bring to a simmer and then add all of the herbs, ginger and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
2. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until chicken is very tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (This can be done a day in advance)
3. Once casserole has cooled, skim fat off of the surface. Remove chicken pieces from pan and take skin and meat off of the bones. Discard the chicken skin. Return chicken back to pan and check the seasoning, adding more if necessary.
4. Next, make the cilantro dumplings by mixing the flour, suet/shortening and cilantro together in a bowl. Add enough cold water to make a soft pliable dough. Shape dough into small dumplings. I made them the dumplings into 1" round balls.
5. Reheat casserole on stove until liquid comes to a boil. Drop in the dumplings, lower the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until dumpling have doubled in size and are fluffy.
6. Remove and discard the herbs and ginger. (If you used dried thyme, obviously that can not be removed, but do discard the rest of the herbs.)
Serve immediately and enjoy with some fresh baked bread!