For those of you following the blog, you’ll be well aware of my love for this southern comfort dish, and why I lovingly refer to our twins as, “The Dumplings.” If not, well, you can read about it here.
This morning a friend of mine from college asked me to hook her up with the dumpling recipe — and with that, this post was born.
Last night I made Chicken N’ Dumplings for the first time in a very long time. You have to understand, just because it has been my favorite dish for as long as I can remember — I never made it much because I associated it with my Mom. My Mom makes chicken n’ dumplings, not me. But now I am the Mom, and as a Mom we all have to have recipes our kids will crave and look upon as the ultimate creator of said version of any given dish. This is not lost on me, especially with two boys.
Since the birth of the Dumplings, my own nesting gene sets in more every day — when I am awake enough to locate it. I find myself calling my Mom or my Dad for recipes trying to recreate those tastes I loved as a child. I suppose I do this in the hope I will one day make them for the Dumplings and perhaps, even Jonathan — though he is a tougher audience. Yet, recently I have been batting a thousand even with him. He even loved the chicken n’ dumplings.
On Monday we went to Costco and bought a rotisserie chicken on sale for $4.99. I have a few recipes I make using the meat from one of these store bought sensations. I know how to roast a chicken, I just don’t do it very often because the ones they make at the store (Sprouts, Costco, Vons, Whole Foods … a grocery store near year) are delicious.
I was not in the mood to make any of my usual rotisserie chicken dishes last night, so I shredded the chicken (mostly white meat — though I am a lover of dark meat — my husband is not) and decided to use that as the chicken for the dumplings.
I think the base chicken broth part of chicken n’ dumplings is a personal preference. You can use white or dark meat, various types of broths (my Mom used to boil the chicken and use that broth), whatever vegetables and spices you like. You are basically making the base for a chicken soup.
My Mom always made the dumpling recipe right off of the Bisquick box — and I thought it was awesome. I still do. However, last night I looked in the pantry and all I had was the heart healthy Bisquick, which I remember from a previous experiment tasted awful. I mean awful, so I went in search of a dumpling recipe not using Bisquick. After all, Bisquick is really just a doctored up flour. I had flour, I had baking powder – I even had self-rising flour.
My first stop was The Pioneer Woman where I did find a recipe for Chicken N’ Dumplings. I followed none of this recipe, except for the dumplings themselves. However, my base is very similar to this one minus the cream. I am not a fan of overly creamy chicken n’ dumplings. My Mom never added cream to the broth when I was a kid, so my version is more like a hearty chicken soup with dumplings. Personally, the creamier version belongs in a chicken pot pie, but this is personal preference. If you like creamy — add the cream.
I was a little nervous about adding corn meal to the dumpling recipe, but I can officially attest it was great. It gave the dumplings a little something extra, which I liked.
So here is “my recipe” —
1 Whole Rotisserie Chicken; shredded and save the juices
1 Medium Onion; Diced — my Mom used to add frozen pearl onions, but I did not have those on hand last night, so I just diced an onion.
2-3 Carrot Sticks; Diced
3-4 Celery Stalks; Diced
1 small bag of frozen peas
1/2 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. tumeric — I added this for the first time last night when I read it in the PW recipe. Tasty!
8-10 cups of chicken broth — last night I used a combination of chicken and vegetable broth because I had a couple of cups of veggie broth I needed to use
1.5 c. self-rise flour
1/2 c. yellow cornmeal
1.5 c. half-n-half
2 T. dried parsley
salt as needed; I added a pinch or two of kosher salt — the self-rise four has the right ratio of flour / baking powder /salt — but if you do not have that on hand use regular four, 1 T. of baking powder and 1 tsp. of kosher salt
Shred the chicken and set aside with juices. I actually did this the night before and when I got ready to make it I dumped it in the pan with a T. of melted butter and warmed it up.
I then added the onions, carrots and celery. Cooking everything together over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. I then added the spices and broth and let it all simmer on low for 20-30 minutes.
I then mixed together the dumpling ingredients. In the PW recipe she sifts all of the dry ingredients. I did not do this
Drop tablespoons of dumpling dough into the simmering pot. Add minced parsley if using. Cover pot halfway and continue to simmer for 15 minutes. Check seasonings; add salt if needed. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.
END OF RECIPE
So there you have it. And I can officially say it was a big hit — most especially with me. I’ve been eating it all day. So has Jonathan. I can’t wait to make it for the two little boys crashed on the couch right next to me as I type this.