Recipe of the Week: Chicken & Dumplings Redone

Everyone knows I am a cook as well as a writer. One thing I also get asked is what’s my signature dish. I always say chicken and dumplings. It’s one of the first things I remember making. Now there are thousands of Chicken and Dumplings recipes to be found on the internet. This is one that has been in my family for a while.

Chicken N Dumpmlins

I put my changes in parenthesis. It is modified and updated from my families version. The original version is included down below.

Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons vegetable oil (You can use canola oil, olive oil, or one of the blended oils)
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper (you can use white pepper if you prefer)
  • 1 whole chicken, cut in de-boned, cut in pieces (you can use boneless chicken breasts and thighs, chopped in pieces)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped in a small or medium dice (Or 1 onion and 1 leek. For the leeks use white and light green parts sliced thin)
  • 1 bunch of celery, cut into a small or  medium dice (I use 1/2 a bunch usually 3 or 4 ribs.)
  • 2 medium carrots, cut into rounds (roughly 1/2 inch thick) or diced
  • 1 medium clove of garlic, finely minced (this is optional)
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • 4 cups broth
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine or sherry
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 springs thyme (leaves only), chopped

Dumplings:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 c all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 1 cup milk

Note: My changes/additions to the dumplings. I usually do one or the other.:

  • 2 teaspoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped/minced
  • 2 teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped/minced
  • 2 teaspoon fresh chives, finely chopped/minced

For chicken stew/soup:

1. Lightly season chicken with seasoned salt and pepper.
2. In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1 1/2 teaspoon of oil over medium high heat. Add in chicken in a single layer. You may have to cook in batches to ensure even cooking. Let the chicken cook, flipping once, until the outsides are browned and the center is almost or just cooked through.
3. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.
4. Once all the chicken is cooked, add rest of oil.  Add in vegetables and cook til soft about 5 to 7 minutes. If using garlic, add in and cook for one minute.
5. Add in flour and stir until vegetables are coated. Cook 1 minute. Add in liquids and herbs (wine, broth, milk, thyme and bay leaf).
6. Cook for a few minutes and add back in chicken pieces. You can chop the chicken up into smaller bites or shred depending on your on personal preference.
7. Stir. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 30 to 35 minutes. Stir to combine and reduce heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes.
8. After 30 minutes, uncover and taste. Add in additional seasonings if desired.

For Dumplings:

1. Mix egg and oil
2. Mix dry ingredients except herbs.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix until mixture is crumbly.
4. Add milk to crumbly dough mixture a small bit (1 to 2 Tablespoons) at a time til sticky. Add in herbs.
5. Portion out dumplings with a scoop, spoon or hand. (The following is how I make my dumplings – see notes/recipe below) Or knead dough. Roll into a square on floured surface. Cut into small or medium squares. Add dumplings to the stew/soup and turn heat to low.
6. Cover and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Dumplings should be puffy, doubled and floating. Stir to dunk and coat dumplings and serve.

Of course this recipe is vastly different from the Good Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings. So you can compare. This is how the recipe started out in my family.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • salt and pepper
  • enough water to cover (a quart or two)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 1 bunch celery chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped

For Dumplings:

  • 2 cups flour
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk

1. Rinse chicken. Season
2. Add everything into a large pot.
3. Add chicken, breast side down.
4. Add more water to cover chicken if needed or as necessary.
5. Bring to boil. Skim surface for scum and foam.
6. Reduce heat and simmer covered til tender. Usually 2.5 to 3 hours.
7. Remove chicken. Keep liquid on a low simmer. Skim off fat and reserve about 1/2 cup.
8. Cool chicken and fat roughly 30 to 45 minutes.
9. De-bone and shred chicken. Return to pot.
10. Mix cooled reserved fat with milk. If fat to hot, mix with 1 or 2 ice cubes. Add flour to make dough. Dough will be stiff.
11. Knead dough. Roll out into 1/2 inch thick square. Cut dough with sharp knife. Usually makes 20 to 30 dumplings depending on size of cutting.
12. Taste simmering liquid. Season if desired. Add dumplings to simmering pot. Cover. Simmer for additional 15 to 20 minutes.
13. Serve in bowls. Garnish with green onions or chopped parsley.

I still make my dumplings this way.

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