bacon & chicken skin.

While this stubborn winter refuses to relieve me of the deep chill in my bones, I have decided to battle back with vengeance with my Dutch oven and wooden spoon in hand.

Chicken & Dumplings

Start by browning 1/2 pound of bacon in your Dutch oven.  Then remove from pan and transfer to a paper towel lined plate (any dish that starts with bacon is pure gold in my book).

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Next, the chicken.  Combine 1/4 cup flour, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper in a shallow bowl.

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Coat the four chicken legs in the flour mixture.

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Using the rendered bacon fat (*swoon*), brown the chicken on all sides.

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But take care not to cook the chicken all the way through (it will cook later on in the stew).  Transfer to a plate and reserve.

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Enter: an army of mushrooms (a 1 & 1/2 pound army to be exact).

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I used a mixture of shiitake, cremini, baby shiitake, and white button mushrooms.

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I like the baby mushrooms the best (actually, I like baby everything)

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In two batches, saute the army of mushrooms again in the rendered bacon fat and recently rendered chicken fat (*double swoon*)

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Removed from the pan and reserve the mushrooms.

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Dice one medium onion and crush six cloves of garlic.

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Cook the onions and garlic until translucent and fragrant, respectively.

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Return the browned chicken and bacon to the pot and add 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth, 2 bay leaves, and 6 sprigs of thyme.

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Bring everything to a boil.

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Then reduce to a simmer and cover but leave the pot slightly open (shout out to my Le Creuset <3)

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Next, comes the fun part- dumpling time!

Combine 1 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper (to taste) in a bowl.

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Whisk in 1/4 cup milk (preferably whole)

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Then whisk in two eggs.

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Batter will be lumpy (don’t fret).

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Then drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture into a heavily simmering pot of salted water.

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Cook for about 5 minutes until they puff up to double their size.

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Return the mushrooms to the simmering chicken mixture.

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Add dumplings to bowl when the stew is ready.

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So as I patiently await the days of mouth-watering corn on the cob, and sun-kissed skin, I’ll seek refuge in mouth-watering bacon and crispy chicken skin, in the form of chicken and dumplings.

-Girl

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