Chicken and Dumplings

2017-04-04 18.12.19RECIPE #477, DAY #656

FOUR STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: My own, for the stew. The dumplings are from Carol at AllRecipes.com*

TIMING: 30 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Somewhere in the middle. It should be easy, but the dumplings can be finicky

TOOLS: Soup pot, mixing bowl, etc.

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: While chicken and dumplings feels like its nourishing you, there are problems with this recipe. Mostly, just the white dumplings. Otherwise, we have herbs, vegetables, and inflammation-reducing chicken broth. Of course, this is great in the winter or when you are under the weather. Moms should make this occasionally for their children.

2017-04-04 18.12.25EXPERIENCE: I don’t know why, but I never used to be a dumplings person. I just wanted noodles. These days, I can finally appreciate dumplings and still love noodles.

What are we talking about, with dumplings? Some people make them like giant, sorta flat, homemade noodles. Some people make them like poached biscuits. My mom made them the second way and that’s the way I’ll always do it. So expect these to by large, almost round, and chewy-crumbly. That is, if you cook them right. There is some finesse involved in dropping them and then in getting them to done without breaking them up. The reward? Greatness.

This is one of the homiest meals, and it is superb on a cold winter’s day.

NOTES: Adding herbs into the dumplings will only improve things. Thyme. Rosemary. Parsley. Fresh.

When I made these, there was not enough dumpling and not enough broth. Yet, you want the broth to thicken with the dumplings and become more of a stew. Hopefully I got the measurements right here for you.

Garlic is optional. Peas would be a good addition, stirred in defrosted at the end.

***

  1. In a soup pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 diced onion, 4 diced carrots, and 2 diced celery stalks, along with a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent.
  2. Add 1 teaspoon thyme (1 tablespoon fresh) and 1 pressed clove garlic. Stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add 8 cups chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add 2 chicken breasts. Poach for 15 minutes at a low simmer, then check for doneness. When cooked through, remove to a cutting board to cool.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together 1 ½ cups all purpose flour, 1 tablespoon baking powder, 2 teaspoons granulated sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt. With your fingers, work in 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter. Mix in ¾ cup milk and get it to the right consistency.
  5. Get your soup to a nice, steady simmer or gentle boil. Drop dough by the spoonful into the broth. Cover most of the way and keep at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. Check dumplings for doneness. Much of the liquid should be absorbed or evaporated.
  6. Meanwhile, shred or cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Keep set aside.
  7. Very carefully add the chicken into the dumplings, with a hefty quantity of pepper. Taste for seasonings.

***

Serve with chopped parsley and hot cider, curled up somewhere with your family.

LEFTOVER IDEAS: This is a little tough to warm up, but do it in a sauce pan and add some broth. Heat just until warmed through. The dumplings won’t be as tender as they were fresh.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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