(KCBS) – KCBS Food and Wine Editor Narsai David says with so much talk about the comfort food of yesteryear, he was looking for some old traditional ideas that could be updated. This chicken and dumplings is honestly low fat.

I recommend skinning the whole chicken first before disjointing it. It’s much easier than trying to skin the individual pieces. And it exposes the pockets of fat behind the thighs so it can be trimmed away easily.

The skin and trimmings go into a stock pot with a spoonful of pickling spice and the trimmings of the onions, carrots and parsley. I like to do that the night before and let it simmer overnight. In the morning I strain the broth and refrigerate it. By the time I return that evening, the fat has floated to the top and congealed so that it can very easily be discarded leaving a truly fat-free broth.

But whether you use that broth or simplify things by using canned broth, I find that the richness of flavor from the vegetable and herbs is substantial enough to take the place of the fat.

Serves 4

1 3 to 3-1/2 lb. fryer chicken, skinned and disjointed
2 cups chicken broth (or 15 oz can low salt broth)
1 1/2 TBS cornstarch
1/2 cup white wine
1 large onion, cut in chunks
3 carrots, cut diagonally, one inch long
1 bell pepper, cut in 1/4″ strips, 1 1/2″ long
1 tsp. tarragon leaves, crumbled
1 tsp. salt
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
4 TBS chopped fresh parsley

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 cup milk
2 green onions, finely minced

Place legs, thighs, wings (and backs, if used) into a 5-6 qt. Dutch Oven. Add chicken broth. Stir cornstarch into wine until dissolved and then stir into pot. Stir in onion, cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes. While chicken is simmering, make dumpling batter. In a small mixing bowl stir together the flour, allspice, baking powder and salt. Add milk and green onions and stir only long enough to make the batter. Cut each chicken breast into 3 or 4 parts and add to pot. Also add carrots, bell pepper, tarragon, salt, pepper and parsley. Stir to divide ingredients evenly in pot. Spoon dumpling batter into 8 small mounds, using 2 large spoons.

Cover the pot and simmer without removing the cover for 20 minutes.

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