So, it’s been rainy and a bit cold out here in Austin this week. Not that I’m complaining, since I love staying inside and making tasty, hot goodies in the kitchen when it’s cold.
Chicken and Dumplings is a meal I can’t make without thinking about my mom. I first fell in love with the meal in my childhood. My mom would make the chicken stew and add Bisquick dumplings that were so delicious.
Like many meals my mom taught me, she never wrote down a recipe. Everything always just came together. The way it was supposed to happen.
Well, despite not having her recipe, I have put together what I think is a pretty darn good and easy chicken and dumplings recipe over the years. I don’t use condensed Cream of Chicken soup or Bisquick like my mom did, but the stew still comes out thick and hearty and the dumplings still come out light, fluffy and absolutely stick-to-your-bones delicious. Promise.
I use a whole chicken that has been left-over from making my Homemade Chicken Stock. If you don’t have a whole, cooked chicken for this purpose (though you should totally try out that stock recipe), you can purchase a Best of the Fryer pack or even just use a couple boneless, skinless chicken breasts and thighs for your recipe. It should all work out fine. Just, in one scenario, you also have delicious, fragrant homemade chicken stock to use in your chicken and dumplings as well. Just saying.
Like with any good chicken and dumplings recipe, this will leave you warm, full and satisfied. Just like mom’s.
Here’s to staying warm (and full) on a cold winter day! And moms.
Easy Chicken and Dumplings
1 whole chicken, (left-over from making chicken stock; can substitute 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and 2 chicken thighs)
10 cups homemade chicken stock
5 carrots, unpeeled, halved and chopped into quarters
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
5 red potatoes, unpeeled, diced
6 tbsp. All-Purpose Flour
1 cup milk
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
5-8 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
For the dumplings
2 cups cake flour (can substitute All-Purpose Flour, but will not be quite as fluffy)
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. kosher salt
3/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1 tsp. dried thyme
Heat chicken stock over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add chicken and cook until able to easily shred chicken meat. Remove chicken and let cool. Shred and set aside when cooled.
Add carrots, onion, celery and potatoes to the chicken stock and cook for 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, combine flour and milk and stir until no longer lumpy. Add milk mixture to the pot.
Add shredded chicken, parsley, thyme, kosher salt and pepper and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and sauce is thick and creamy.
To make the dumplings, in a medium bowl, sift together the cake flour, baking powder and salt. In a separate medium bowl, combine, the wet ingredients (milk and melted butter) with the spices (oregano, tarragon and thyme). Slowly add the wet ingredients to the sifted dry ingredients. Gently mix with wooden spoon until just incorporated. Do not over-mix, as this will cause the dumplings to become less light and fluffy.
Drop dumpling mixture into the stew in heaping spoonfuls. Cover pot and simmer 15 minutes until cooked through. Do not open the cover of the pot during these 15 minutes. It is important to keep the steam in the pot to cook the dumplings. If, after 15 minutes, the dumplings are not cooked through, cover again and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes.
For left-overs, add 2-3 cups more chicken stock and cook over medium-high heat. Season with additional kosher salt and/or ground black pepper, to taste.