Chicken and Dumplings — so good! This is truly comfort food — flavorful chicken broth thickened by dense dumplings, loaded with veggies and of course lots of shredded chicken. I made this a couple of days ago and just typing this makes me want to make it again.
Really, this recipe isn’t very difficult. The base is just like chicken noodle soup. You saute some veg, add stock, poach some chicken in the broth and remove to shred it. What makes it extra special is the hand cut dumplings that are hearty and yet delicate at the same time.
I’ve made chicken and dumplings before by spooning in the dumpling dough, but I find the technique of rolling and cutting dumplings not only gives the soup a better texture overall, but also tastes better.
I have creatures of habit in my home — namely a 7-year-old, 5-year-old and 2-year-old. They don’t like things changed, especially not their favorite chicken soup. However, when Miss 7-year-old reluctantly tried this recipe, a huge smile came over her face. She gobbled one bowl up and asked for a second, and in between bites made me promise to make it again. I think you will have a similar response in your home if you give it a try.
What you need to make this recipe:
1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1/2 Cup)
1 Tbs olive oil
2 ribs celery with leaves if possible, diced
3/4 Cup diced carrots
6 Cups chicken stock (use homemade if possible — here is my recipe: chicken stock)
1 Cup white wine (I use a wine like a Chardonnay)
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 chicken breasts
Ingredients for the dumplings:
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 Tbs butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 Cup milk
In a large stock pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium high heat and saute your onions, carrots, and celery for about 5-7 minutes until they start to soften. Add your dried thyme to the veggies and be prepared for a wonderful smell! Continue to saute for a few more minutes, then add your wine to deglaze the pan. Add your chicken stock next and then bring the mixture to a boil.
Turn down your heat to a low simmer and poach your chicken breasts in the soup pot for about 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick they are.
While your chicken is poaching, make your dumplings. Add your flour, salt and baking powder to a food processor and pulse a few times. Then add your butter pieces and pulse until the mixture starts to become coarse (sort of looking like sand). Drizzle in your milk until the dough just comes together in a loose ball. If you don’t use all 3/4 Cup of milk, that’s okay. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this by hand. You just have to cut the butter in with a fork or pastry cutter and slowly stir in the milk until it comes together.)
Turn your dough out onto a heavily floured surface and roll to about 1/4 inch thickness. You will probably use almost 1/4 Cup of flour on your board and rolling-pin for this step. The extra flour will thicken your soup. Cut your dumplings into 1″ x 2″ pieces with a knife or pizza cutter.
Pull your chicken breasts out of the soup to cool and shred, then add your dumplings one at a time to the soup. Stir periodically to make sure they are not sticking together.
Shred your chicken breasts and add them back to the soup pot and allow your dumplings to cook at a low simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender.
When your dumplings are done, add your 1 Tbs of apple cider vinegar to the soup and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve hot! This reheats well as leftovers, but you may want to add some water or stock to it if it is too thick.