This recipe is a perfect one if you are feeling a little under the weather. Our Valentine’s Day celebrations were put to a standstill by a little sickness. Nothing too crazy, just a little head cold put forth by what I can only assume the constant change of weather here in Pennsylvania. Cold one day and warm the next. Today it’s 32 degrees and tomorrow it’s something like 65 degrees. A little crazy for the immune system, especially if you’re working nonstop. It’s almost as if your body holds up until it gets a day of rest and then it all comes crashing down. Now being sick isn’t a lot of fun, but there is one positive thing from it, and that is Nicole makes chicken and dumplings.
You have to understand I’m not the biggest fan of soups, I’m more of a stew kind of guy. Broths are boring and there isn’t a lot of textures. It’s just liquid. I need something to bite into or chew on while to truly enjoy a good soup. I can get down on a massive dumpling dropped into a nice chicken broth. I’ll eat this up in seconds, burning my mouth every time because I forget how hot those soft pillows called dumplings can be. Be warned they hold in steam well.
This is one of those great recipes if you’ve got some left overs that you want to turn into something new. For example, we had some chicken backs left over from our Valentine’s Day dinner. With scraps from your vegetables you can create a stock instead of buying one. It only takes a couple of hours but the results are outstanding. Once you’ve made a batch you can freeze it for later uses. We store it in pints and just take one out the day before we need it. In the fridge the stock will last about 5-7 days. We are thinking about adding a basic recipe/ somethings every cook should know section soon-ish. It’s been in the works for a while and I’m not quite sure how to go around teaching these points. How I go about sharing my knowledge that I learned by doing into written words can be challenging. The little nuances can be easily missed and I might take them for granted.
Apparently there are two types of dumplings which are highly debated as to which is better. Our dumplings are what they call “floaters”, as they float on top of the soup. With these you make a thick batter and scoop them into the pot. The other type are “swimmers” or “sinkers”, as they are more like thick noodles that swim throughout the soup. These are created by a dough that is rolled out and cut into thick strips and cooked in the soup. I had never really had either types of chicken and dumplings before meeting Nicole. She however, grew up eating “swimmers” (usually) in a canned form made by Sweet Sue. She learned about the soft, pillowy dumplings that are “floaters”, from a friend’s mother. After seriously enjoying the floater type, she found a recipe for them and tweaked them until they were perfected. This is the recipe we are sharing with you today.
Chicken and DumplingsPrint This
- 1 Onion, Diced
- 3 Ribs Celery, Diced
- 2 Carrots, Diced
- 2 TBS Flour
- 6 Cups Chicken Stock
- 3 Sprigs Thyme
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 3-4 Chicken Thighs or 2-3 Chicken Breasts
- 3/4 Cup Frozen Peas
- Salt & Pepper to Taste
- 1 Cup Flour
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Dill
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 3 TBS Melted Butter
In a large pot over medium low heat, add 2 TBS oil, onion, celery, carrot. When soft, add 2 TBS flour and stir until everything is evenly coated. While stirring vigorously, SLOWLY pour about 1 cup of the stock in the pot. This ensures there will be no lumps of flour in the soup. When the liquid is smooth, stir in the rest of the stock and add the thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper. Once at a simmer, add the chicken to the pot a cook through. Remove and shred. At this point, make the dumplings.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, and dill. Add milk and butter to the dry. Stir until just combined, a few lumps are okay. Do not over mix!
Add the chicken back to the pot along with the peas. Spoon the dumpling mixture all around the pot (I was able to get 9 out of this recipe), leaving a little space in between each, as the dumplings will expand. Cover the pot and cook the dumplings for 6-8 minutes, or until they are cooked through. Serve!
Even if you enjoy the swimmer variety, I hope you’ll come to enjoy these types of chicken and dumplings as much as I do. I’ll share a secret with you, you don’t have to be sick to eat these. Nicole will make them as soon as she catches wind of a sickness. With a well placed cough and a sneeze here and there you’ll have chicken and dumplings sooner than later. Oh and don’t skimp on the dill.