By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
In The Kitchen: Two ways to make chicken and dumplings
Chicken and Dumplings

If you grew up in the South, chances are you grew up eating chicken and dumplings. Perhaps after church on Sundays at your grandmother’s house. 

Back before all of the conveniences we have today, chicken and dumplings was a dish that took hours to prepare. First, you had to cook a whole chicken, making a homemade chicken stock. That had to be strained, discarding the vegetables used to flavor the broth — usually onions, celery and carrots. 

Then shred the chicken into bite-size pieces, discarding the skin and bones, or probably more likely, they were saved to make another batch of broth.

 More aromatics were needed for the soup — again, finely chopped onions, carrots and celery. And then, there are the dumplings, arguably everyone’s favorite part of the dish. 

Do you prefer the flat kind of dumplings or the puffy, drop-biscuit type dumplings? I think both types of dumplings are delicious. 

When I make the drop-in kind, I mix in a little cornmeal with the flour. Though not traditional, I find this gives the dumplings a bit more of a bite and they are less likely to fall apart. That being said, if the dumplings do fall apart, they might not look as pretty, but they still taste yummy.

 To make your chicken and dumplings dinner achievable even a busy weeknight, try using an already cooked rotisserie chicken. You can also put some olive oil on two or three bone-in chicken breasts (or thighs or a combination), sprinkle with salt and pepper, cover tightly and bake in a preheated 350-degree oven for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Do not overcook. Once done, cool the chicken and then shred it.

For the chicken broth, just use a quality bone broth or organic, free-range chicken broth — this makes such a difference in your final dish. Fresh parsley is perfect for flavor and color.

 

Chicken and dumplings with flat dumplings

3 ½ cups cooked and shredded chicken, set aside

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

2 quarts good quality chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper


Dumplings:

2 cups flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons butter, cubed

1 cup milk or buttermilk

Garnish:

1/3 cup Italian parsley leaves, minced 

In a large pot, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery, and cook until very tender, about eight minutes. Add poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Add chicken broth and chicken to soup and simmer while you make the dumplings. 

For the dumplings, whisk together flour and baking powder. Add cubed butter and using a pastry cutter or your fingers, combine dough. Slowly add milk or buttermilk until the dough comes together.

Flour a work surface and roll out dough to about ¼-inch thick. Dust with more flour so dough doesn’t stick. Using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut the dough into squares or strips. Add a bit more flour, tossing to combine. To simmering soup, add dumplings one or two at a time, stirring so they don’t stick together. Cook for 20 minutes until dumplings are done and no longer doughy. Garnish with parsley.

 •    •    •

Chicken and dumplings with drop dumplings

4 cups cooked and shredded chicken

2 tablespoons butter

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

1/4 teaspoon turmeric (adds color and a distinct flavor)

6 cups chicken broth

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup heavy cream

 

Dumplings:

1 ½ cups flour

1/2 cup fine yellow cornmeal

1 tablespoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups half and half

Garnish:

2 tablespoons parsley, minced

 

In a large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat. Add carrots, celery, onion, salt and pepper and cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. 

Add poultry seasoning, turmeric, chicken broth and apple cider vinegar. Add cooked and shredded chicken and bring to a boil. Add heavy cream. Turn heat down and simmer while you make the dumplings.

For the dumplings, whisk together flour, fine yellow cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add half and half until the dough comes together. While soup is simmering, drop tablespoons of the dough onto the soup. Sprinkle with parsley and cover pot partially. Cook 20 minutes until dumplings are done. 


Forsyth County resident and author Adlen Robinson presents the best of her recipes each Friday for “In the Kitchen.” Please email her at adlen@adlenshomematters.com.