Chef-owner Dave Nalezny
Park & Field
At Park & Field in Chicago, chef-owner Nalezny prepares this down-home dish with boneless chicken thighs, which makes it cost-effective and easier to serve. Cornmeal in the batter adds a bit of texture and color to the pillowy dumplings.
2 lb. boneless chicken thighs
1/2 lb. carrots, diced in large pieces
1/2 lb. celery, diced in large pieces
1/2 lb. leeks, cut in circles
1 gal. chicken stock
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tbsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
4 oz. cold butter, cut in cubes
2 cups buttermilk
Parsley, for garnish
Chives, for garnish
1. For chicken thighs: Season chicken thighs and brown, skin side down, in Dutch oven or braiser over high heat. Once chicken is browned, add vegetables and continue to cook until vegetables are slightly browned. Add stock and bouquet garni; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer; braise thighs for 4 hours.
2. For dumplings: Sift all dry ingredients into mixing bowl. Crumble butter into flour by mixing with hands. Fold in buttermilk, half at a time. Knead dough with a little flour until combined. Dough should be moist, but not sticky.
3. Shape dough with hands into rough log and cut into disc-like shapes. In rondo or stockpot, bring salted water to a boil. Drop in discs and cook for 20 minutes, making sure dumplings are done in middle.
4. To serve, remove bouquet garni from chicken braising liquid. Season liquid with salt and pepper. Into individual bowls, add cooked dumplings, chicken thighs, broth and vegetables. Garnish with chopped parsley and chives.