- 2 tsp. pure olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 qt homemade chicken stock or reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ pound collard greens, stemmed and chopped, or 8 cups chopped collards from a bag
- ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup fine whole-grain cornmeal (not self-rising)
- 2 tbsp. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup low-fat buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes (2 pounds)
- Heat the oil in a heavy-duty pot over medium heat.
- Add the onion, celery, and carrot and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 45 to 60 seconds.
- Add the chicken stock, bay leaf, and red pepper flakes; bring to a boil over high heat.
- Add the collards; decrease the heat to simmer and cook until bright green, about 10 minutes; keep at a simmer.
- To prepare the dumplings, in a bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, cheese, baking soda, thyme, and ½ teaspoon of the salt.
- Add the buttermilk and melted butter to the dry ingredients and stir to combine until the dough forms.
- Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop the dough, 1 tablespoon at a time, into the simmering stock.
- Cover and simmer until the dumplings are partially cooked and the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
- Using a wooden spoon, push aside the dumplings and slide the cubed chicken into the greens and broth.
- Cover again and continue to cook until the dumplings and chicken are cooked through and the collards are tender, an additional 10 to 15 minutes.
- Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into warmed bowls and serve immediately.