Oh man is this good comfort food. On a Friday night after a long week with a cold, this was just what I was hoping for: warm, wholesome stew topped with fluffy-chewy dumplings. F gave the chicken and dumplings a “this is really good” rating and has already requested that I make the dish again, just a few weeks later.
Chicken and dumplings is (are?) actually pretty healthy for comfort food. Veggies, chicken, and stock make up the stew part, and dumplings are just delicious — I don’t really care what’s in them. I was inspired to try my hand at this dish when I remembered that one of my housemates from senior year of college would sometimes make chicken and dumplings. It didn’t seem that difficult (it’s not) and doesn’t require any out-of-the-ordinary ingredients — you probably have almost all of them in your house already.
- One Year Ago: CELTA Course: Week 8 and Sweet Potato Rosemary Biscuits (I make these regularly for weekend brunch) and Sweet Potato Pancakes
- Two Years Ago: Sniatyn District Teachers’ Sports Tournament
- Three Years Ago: Peace Corps Turns 50
Chicken & Dumplings (adapted from Simply Recipes; serves 4-6)
- Chicken & Vegetables:
- 3 chicken thighs OR boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tsp butter or olive oil, or a combination of both
- to taste: salt & pepper
- 4-6 cups chicken stock
- 1/4 celery root, chopped finely OR 2-3 celery stalks, cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-2 tsp thyme (fresh or dried)
- 1.25 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh parsley, minced
- 2 cups all-purpose or cake flour (I used AP, but Simply Recipes says cake flour makes fluffier dumplings)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 – 1 cup milk
- optional: 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
- In a medium pot, heat the chicken stock to a gentle simmer.
- In a large pot, heat the butter/olive oil over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken dry and sprinkle it with some salt, then brown the chicken pieces in the pot on both sides (start them skin-down, if using thighs). Remove the chicken from the pot and turn the heat off.
- Get rid of the chicken skins and pop the chicken into the simmering stock. Cook for ~20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. When it is ready, take the chicken out of the stock and set aside until cool enough to shred into pieces.
- Moving back to the large pot, turn the heat on to medium-high. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme. Sauté the vegetables until they’re soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the flour, reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir constantly for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock by ladleful to the flour-vegetable mixture, stirring well after each addition. The broth should eventually come together nicely. Add the chicken meat, peas, and parsley to the pot. Turn up the heat and let simmer while you make the dumplings.
- While the stew simmers, make dumplings: whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the chopped herbs, if using. Pour in the melted butter and milk, then mix with a wooden spoon until everything just comes together (don’t over-mix).
- Drop large spoonfuls of dumpling dough into the stew (they’ll float on top). Cover the pot and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, ~15 minutes (do not uncover the pot during this time!).