The Ultimate Dutch Oven Cookbook: The Best Recipes on the Planet for Everyone’s Favorite Pot, written by Emily and Matt Clifton, features a wonderful and flavor-packed collection of 60 recipes all centered around the Dutch Oven. A few highlights include Crispy Pork Belly Braised in Sherry and Soy, Dulce de Leche Rice Pudding, Kimchi Mac and Cheese, No-Knead Cheddar-Jalapeño Bread, and Crab Dip-Stuffed Artichokes. I will also be sharing their recipe for Creamy Chicken Stew and Chive Dumplings following the review.
Disclosure: I received this book from Page Street Publishing in exchange for my honest review. All opinions and statements are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Emily and Matt Clifton
Emily and Matt Clifton are currently based in the Hudson Valley of New York. They are the founders of the blog, Nerds with Knives.
Emily was born and raised in New York City where she was exposed to a variety of ingredients and flavors. For the last twenty years, she has worked as a film/TV editor in addition to enjoying recipe development and photography.
Matt grew up in Kent, England and runs an IT consultancy. He enjoys “discovering new ways to think about and explore food and culinary methods.”
The Ultimate Dutch Oven Cookbook is their second book. They are also the authors of Cork and Knife, published in 2019.
The Ultimate Dutch Oven Cookbook
Emily and Matt begin with a short introduction before diving straight into the recipes. For those new to working with Dutch ovens, they give a few tips on the purchase and care of this versatile cooking vessel to help get you started.
Most of the recipes in this book have been prepared with a 5-7 quart (5-7 L) Dutch oven. When a medium-size is mentioned, they refer to one that is 4-6 quarts (4-6 L). Large is anything over 6 quarts (6 L).
Chapters are divided according to the following: Mouthwatering Braises; Sautés, Bakes and Steams; Soups and Stews; Pastas, Grains and Pulses; Sweet and Savory Pies and Crumbles; Really Simple Breads; and Fried Treats. The Table of Contents includes a list of the recipes in each chapter with page number for easy reference.
The gorgeous photography is also provided by Emily and Matt. Every single recipe is paired with a beautifully styled, full-page photo of the finished dish. Titles are written in English. Measurements are listed in US Customary and Metric. Each recipe has a headnote with inspiration for the dish, personal stories, helpful tips, notable ingredients, and serving size. Servings generally range between 4-6 with a few closer to 8-10.
Creamy Chicken Stew and Chive Dumplings
I grew up with Chicken and Dumplings, but have never actually prepared them myself. This Creamy Chicken Stew and Chive Dumplings was just the push I didn’t know I needed!
Emily and Matt add their own twist to this classic recipe by creating a tender chicken and vegetable-packed stew topped with light and fluffy chive dumplings. Poached and shredded chicken is simmered in a creamy stew with evaporated milk, cream cheese, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, and thyme until thickened.
Dollops of the chive-studded buttermilk dough are gently dropped around the top of the stew, then the Dutch oven is covered and the mixture continues to simmer until the dumplings are cooked through and puffed. Immediately before serving, the whole pot is placed under the broiler to form a golden brown crust across the top.
For the base of the stew, there is an option to either use Golden Chicken Stock (recipe in book) or store-bought stock. I made this recipe with store-bought.
Broiling the top after cooking the dumplings is completely optional, but as Emily and Matt stated, the golden crust adds such a wonderful flavor and contrast.
Stir together the ingredients for the dumplings just until a dough comes together. Do not overmix or they with lose their light and fluffy texture.
I also made their Miso-Braised Charred Cabbage, Baked Risotto with Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes, One-Pot Cheesy Sausage and Pasta Bake, and Ruffled Spanakopita Pie.
The Miso-Braised Charred Cabbage is now one of my absolute favorite ways to prepare cabbage! Wedges of cabbage are seared on each side, then braised slowly in a garlic miso sauce until tender and slightly sweet. Before serving, the wedges are drizzled with sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chopped herbs.
The Baked Risotto with Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes packs all the best flavors of summer in an easy (and mostly hands off) meal. This creamy baked risotto is swirled with homemade or a favorite store-bought pesto. Before serving, it is topped with garlicky roasted cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.
The One-Pot Cheesy Sausage and Pasta Bake was Evan’s favorite. He even asked for all the leftovers which is a very rare occurrence. Pasta and Italian sausage are cooked in a savory tomato sauce all in one pot. It is then combined with plenty of Parmigiano-Reggiano and mozzarella cheese and a few basil leaves.
I happened to have an extra pack of phyllo in the freezer and it was perfect for the Ruffled Spanakopita Pie. Inspired by the flavors of Spanakopita, this pie has a cheese filling with herbs, spinach, leeks, scallions, and garlic for the base. The filling is completely covered by bunched up sheets of buttered phyllo to create a ruffled look, then baked in the oven until heated through with a golden crisp top.
The Ultimate Dutch Oven Cookbook is a great pick for those looking for new and exciting ways to add some variety to their Dutch Oven. Recipes range from quick and easy meals to braises and stews that take a little longer to prepare. Many are completely one-pot meals.
Most of the ingredients are readily available in larger American grocery stores. A few that may require further searching include duck legs, star anise, pork belly, gochujang, pomegranate molasses, miso, fish sauce, red curry paste, oxtails, kimchi, phyllo sheets, and taleggio cheese.
Creamy Chicken Stew and Chive Dumplings Recipe
Excerpt from The Ultimate Dutch Oven Cookbook
Creamy Chicken Stew and Chive Dumplings
For the Stew:
- 4 tablespoons (56 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow or Spanish onion diced
- 2 celery ribs diced
- 3 medium carrots diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 6 cups (1.4 liters) Golden Chicken Stock (recipe in book) or store-bought stock
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 pounds (1.4 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 6 tablespoons (48 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 can (12 ounce, 355 ml) evaporated milk
- 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese room temperature, cut into cubes
For the Dumplings:
- 1 cup (125 grams) all-purose flour
- 2 teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (150 grams) buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons (45 milliliters) melted unsalted butter cooled
- 1/4 cup (12 grams) finely minced fresh chives plus more for garnish
To make the stew:
- Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven set over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute.
- Add the stock, thyme, bay leaf and chicken, making sure all the chicken pieces are submerged. Bring the liquid to a full boil, cover the pot, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the chicken continue to poach in the hot broth for 10 minutes.
- Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it sit until cool enough to handle. Shred the meat and cver with foil to keep it warm. Set it aside.
- Add the flour to a small bowl and whisk in the evaporated milk until the mixture is completely smooth.
- Turn the heat under the Dutch oven back to low and slowly pour the milk-flour mixture into the chicken stock, whisking constantly.
- Add the cream cheese, stirring until it melts. Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and let it simmer, stirring occasionally, while you make the dumpling dough.
To make the dumplings:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pepper.
- In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk, butter and chives. Slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring just until the dough comes together. Be careful not to overmix it, or the dumplings will be tough.
- Drop tablespoon-sized (15 gram) dollops of dumpling dough on top of the stew, leaving a little room between each one.
- Cover and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes. The dumplings should have grown in size by roughly fivefold, and the interior should look like a soft dinner roll. If they are not fully cooked, cover and cook for 2 minutes more.
- If you like browned dumplings like we do, preheat your broiler while the dumplings are poaching. Once the dumplings are puffed, place the pot in the oven, uncovered, and broil until their tops are golden brown, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on your broiler.
- Divide the chicken stew and dumplings among bowls, and top with more chives, if desired.