Picture this: a steaming bowl of rich, aromatic broth, tender shreds of chicken, and fluffy dumplings that melt in your mouth. Hungry yet? Today, I’m sharing my tried-and-true recipe for Chicken and Dumplings, a dish that has provided comfort and nourishment to countless generations.
Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 large stockpot
- 1 “fryer” chicken
- ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 1 egg
- ½ cup skim milk
- 2 cloves peeled garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 pound carrots, cut into 1/2 inch slices or rounds
- 1 pound sweet potato (or white potato), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- ½ pound chicken sausage
- 1 pound Swiss chard, rinsed well, patted dry and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- ¼ teaspoon chile flakes
- Place the chicken into a large stockpot and add enough water to cover it. Bring the pot to a boil, cover and simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the pot from the heat, and allow it to cool down. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, take the chicken from the pot and remove the meat from the bones; cut the meat into bite-size pieces.
- Prepare the dumplings by combining the flour, cheese, salt, pepper, and 4 tablespoons of parsley; stir well to mix. Add in the egg and then slowly pour in the milk.
- Bring the stock in the pot up to a boil and add the garlic, onion, carrots, potatoes, and chile flakes. Simmer for 10 minutes, and then drop golf ball sized pieces of dough carefully into the simmering stock. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the sausage by squeezing marble sized pieces from the casing right into the simmering stock. Stir in the Swiss chard, cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
Alternative Method: Pressure Cooker
If you prefer a quicker cooking method for Chicken and Dumplings, utilizing a pressure cooker is a fantastic option. It allows you to achieve tender chicken and perfectly cooked dumplings in a fraction of the time. Here’s how to prepare Chicken and Dumplings using a pressure cooker:
- 1.5 lbs (680g) boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 4 cups (946ml) chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup (120g) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Set your pressure cooker to the sauté function, and heat the vegetable oil. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, and cook until softened and fragrant.
- Add the chicken pieces to the pressure cooker and brown them on all sides. This will help seal in the flavors.
- Add the sliced carrots, celery, chicken broth, dried thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to the pressure cooker. Give it a stir to combine the ingredients.
- Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and set it to cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
- While the chicken and vegetables are cooking, prepare the dumpling mixture. In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, and milk. Stir until just combined, being careful not to overmix.
- Once the 10 minutes of cooking time is complete, carefully release the pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Open the pressure cooker lid and stir in the dumpling mixture. The residual heat in the stew will cook the dumplings.
- Secure the lid back on the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for an additional 5 minutes.
- Once the cooking time is complete, allow the pressure to release naturally for a few minutes before carefully releasing any remaining pressure.
- Remove the lid, and sprinkle the chopped fresh parsley over the Chicken and Dumplings.
- Serve the dish hot, and enjoy the tender chicken, flavorful broth, and fluffy dumplings that the pressure cooker has effortlessly created.
Note: It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific pressure cooker model to ensure safe and proper usage.
To ensure your Chicken and Dumplings turn out absolutely delightful, let me share some insider tips and insights that will elevate your cooking game. From avoiding common mistakes to incorporating expert techniques, here’s everything you need to know.
- Achieving Perfectly Fluffy Dumplings: For light and fluffy dumplings, it’s crucial not to overmix the dough. Overmixing can result in tough dumplings. Combine the ingredients until just combined, making sure not to overwork the dough. This will help maintain the delicate texture and ensure tender dumplings that melt in your mouth.
- The Power of Seasoning: Seasoning is key to creating a flavorful Chicken and Dumplings dish. Don’t shy away from generously seasoning the chicken with salt and pepper before cooking. Additionally, taste and adjust the seasoning of the broth as you go. Remember that flavors can intensify during the cooking process, so it’s better to start with a slightly milder broth and build up to your desired taste.
- Simmer with Patience: Simmering the chicken in the broth is a crucial step in developing rich flavors and tender meat. Be patient and let the chicken cook gently over low heat until it reaches the desired doneness. Rushing this step may result in tough chicken or underdeveloped flavors. The slow simmer will allow the flavors to meld beautifully and create a comforting stew.
- Let the Stew Rest: Once your Chicken and Dumplings are cooked to perfection, resist the temptation to dig in immediately. Allow the stew to rest for a few minutes off the heat. This resting period allows the flavors to further marry together, resulting in a more harmonious and delicious final dish.
When it comes to serving Chicken and Dumplings, there’s a myriad of possibilities to explore. From cozy family dinners to festive gatherings, this versatile dish adapts beautifully to various occasions. Let’s dive into some serving suggestions that will take your Chicken and Dumplings to the next level.
Perfect Pairings: Sides, Garnishes, and Beverages
Enhance the flavors of your Chicken and Dumplings by pairing it with complementary sides, garnishes, and beverages. Consider serving it alongside buttery mashed potatoes or fluffy rice to add a comforting element. Freshly steamed vegetables like green beans or roasted carrots provide a delicious and nutritious balance. Top your dish with a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or a dollop of sour cream for an extra burst of flavor. To complete the experience, offer a refreshing glass of iced tea or a crisp white wine to complement the heartiness of the dish.
Versatile Serving Styles
Chicken and Dumplings lends itself to various serving styles, allowing you to cater to different preferences and occasions. Serve it family-style in a large ceramic dish, allowing everyone to help themselves and savor the comforting flavors. Alternatively, for a more refined presentation, plate individual servings and garnish them with a sprig of thyme or a drizzle of high-quality olive oil. For a casual gathering, consider serving the dish in bread bowls, transforming it into a delightful and edible vessel.
Perfect Timing and Occasions
Chicken and Dumplings is a dish that shines during the colder months, providing warmth and comfort on chilly evenings. It’s ideal for cozy family dinners, intimate gatherings with friends, or potluck parties where everyone can contribute their favorite side dishes. Whether it’s a casual Sunday supper or a holiday feast, Chicken and Dumplings brings people together and creates lasting memories.
Leftover Magic: Storing and Reimagining
If you’re fortunate enough to have leftovers, fear not! Chicken and Dumplings can be easily stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. When reheating, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. To breathe new life into your leftovers, consider transforming them into comforting pot pies, adding a flaky pastry crust, or repurposing the stew as a delectable filling for empanadas. Get creative and let your culinary imagination run wild!
Tailoring to Dietary Preferences
Chicken and Dumplings can be adapted to accommodate various dietary preferences. For a vegetarian twist, replace the chicken with hearty mushrooms or tofu, and use vegetable broth instead. If you’re gluten-free, opt for a gluten-free flour blend and ensure your dumpling mixture is free from wheat-based ingredients. With a few adjustments, this beloved dish can be enjoyed by all.
FAQs about Chicken and Dumplings
As a food blogger and experienced chef, I’ve encountered a range of questions about Chicken and Dumplings. Here are some of the most common inquiries and their answers to guide you through your culinary journey.
Can I Freeze Chicken and Dumplings?
Yes, you can freeze Chicken and Dumplings! However, it’s important to note that the dumplings’ texture might change slightly upon thawing and reheating. To freeze, store the cooled dish in an airtight container or freezer-safe bags for up to three months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator and gently reheat on the stovetop, adding extra broth if needed.
How Do I Achieve Tender Chicken in the Dish?
To ensure tender chicken in your Chicken and Dumplings, opt for boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts. Thigh meat has more fat and connective tissue, which adds flavor and prevents the chicken from becoming dry during the cooking process. Simmer the chicken gently in the broth until it’s cooked through and easily shreds with a fork.
Can I Use Pre-made Dumplings?
Yes, you can use pre-made dumplings if you’re short on time or prefer the convenience. Look for refrigerated or frozen dumplings in the grocery store. Follow the package instructions for cooking times and adjust accordingly to incorporate them into your Chicken and Dumplings recipe.
How Do I Thicken the Stew?
If you prefer a thicker stew consistency, you can thicken the broth by creating a slurry. In a separate bowl, whisk together equal parts cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Stir the slurry into the simmering broth gradually, allowing it to thicken before adding more if needed. Remember to adjust the seasoning accordingly.
How Should I Store Leftover?
After enjoying a comforting meal of Chicken and Dumplings, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The dish can be safely stored for up to three days. When reheating, gently warm it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Enjoy the leftovers and savor the flavors all over again.
Get all your burning questions about Chicken and Dumplings answered in one place. From freezing and storing leftovers to achieving tender chicken and thickening the stew, find practical solutions and expert advice. Explore the world of Chicken and Dumplings with confidence and create unforgettable meals for your loved ones.