Kitchen Confidential- Christian Kelly, Maya

Christian Kelly

The secret to great cooking is...  a love of food. If you love what you do, it's going to come through in how the food tastes. The more you love to match flavors, the more you do it, the better you get at it.

The secret to success in the restaurant business is... managing people as a coach rather than a cop.

The secret to making Maya's chicken and dumplings is...  using real biscuit dough for your dumplings. They turn out lighter and fluffier that way.


Maya's chicken and dumplings

1 cup diced onions

1 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1 tbsp. chopped garlic

2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme

6 oz. butter

5 oz. flour

4 cups chicken stock

2 cups milk

8-10 oz. fresh biscuit dough

1 1/2 lbs. chicken leg meat

salt & pepper

Begin by melting an ounce of butter in a large sauce pot over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, put in the vegetables. Turn the heat down so that the vegetables cook slowly without getting any color. When they become translucent (roughly 10-15 min.), add chicken stock & thyme, turn the heat up to medium high, and bring to a simmer. 

While this is happening, in a separate sauce pot melt remaining butter and add the 5 oz. of flour. Stir the butter and flour together over low heat for 5-6 min. or until the mix is light brown. When the stock is simmering add the rue (butter flour mix) and stir. When it returns to a boil add the milk & chicken and turn down to a simmer. 

While the soup simmers, pinch small pieces of biscuit dough and roll them into small balls and drop them into the soup. After the last dumpling goes in, let it simmer slowly for about 15 minutes. If the soup seems too thick, add more chicken stock. At this point, it's important to stir the soup so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.  

Finish by adding salt and pepper to desired taste.

 This dish really tastes best if it is made a day ahead of time and reheated. This gives all of the flavors time to bloom, and the dumplings take on a great flavor and texture.