gwyneth paltrow’s recipe for chicken and dumplings

1 whole organic whole chicken
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 stalk celery
roughly chopped
1 whole carrot
large, peeled and roughly chopped
1 whole leek
small, roughly chopped
1 slice duck bacon
finely diced, can also use regular bacon
1 whole bay leaf
1 tsp fresh thyme
leaves only
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
can also use vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 cup flour
unbleached all-purpose or white spelt
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup half-and-half
plus 1 teaspoon
1/2 tsp salt
fresh parsley
for garnish
This is another great recipe that our friend Brent shared with us. We sat on it for a while and were skeptical of the recipe since it came from a celebrity who we didn't know cooked. But Brent kept asking us if we had made it yet, as he truly vouched for it, so we gave it a shot. This recipe is definitely a keeper! The flavors were rich and robust, and the dumplings turned out light and fluffy. This meal is hearty, so you might want to avoid it if you are on a diet. We would make this dish again to share with family. Everything can be made ahead up to the point of the dumplings. When plating the dish, spoon the juice around the dumplings so that they don't get soggy.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Wash and dry the whole chicken. Remove chicken back (we reserved ours for use in chicken stock) and cut the chicken into 10 pieces. Generously season the chicken with salt and pepper.
Warm the butter and olive oil in the pot over medium-high heat. Starting with the skin side down, brown the chicken on both sides for 7-8 minutes per side. Leaving the fat in the pot, reserve chicken and repeat for additional batches if needed.
With the remaining fat, cook the vegetables, bacon, bay leaf, and thyme over medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
Add the white wine and scrape in bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the chicken, bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Add stock and water, and bring to a boil again. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn off the heat. Cover the pot with parchment paper and secure with the lid. Trim off any extraneous parchment paper. Place the pot in the preheated oven for 1.5 hours.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Mix in the half-and-half at the last moment. Remove the lid and discard the parchment paper. Rest spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture on top of the chicken and vegetables. Cover the pot and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Don't open the lid so that the dumplings can properly steam.
Garnish with parsley and additional pepper. Serve immediately.
We had removed the plastic lid handle on our dutch oven for this dish. Unfortunately, my husband burned his hand really bad from the steam that escaped when he opened it. We have since ordered a replacement oven-safe handle. Moral of the story is to be super careful of escaping steam when opening any lid AND fork over the extra $12 for an oven-safe handle. It's not worth burning your hand to save $12. I do put the plastic handle back on though when not using the pot in the oven. The metal handle gets too hot to touch when cooking over the stove. I once read in a forwarded email chain from one of my relatives that you should put egg white immediately on bad burns. I applied egg white on my husband's hand when he burned it. Although a huge blister formed, his hand has since healed without any scarring, and I like to think that the egg white helped. There might actually be useful information in those forwards! :)