Growing up, one of my fondest memories has to be rainy days and Chicken with Dumplings. I’m really not sure why my Dad would make Chicken and Dumplings when it rained. Maybe that’s because as a construction worker, rain meant no work. And no work meant stretching the food budget.
Besides, Dad was the one who always made the best dumplings. His recipe was no secret. It was on the back of a box of Bisquick Mix. It’s a very simple recipe – 2 cups of Bisquick with 2/3 cup milk. That’s it. One of the things I remember about Dad’s Chicken and Dumplings was that he seasoned the broth with peppercorns. Have you ever bitten into a peppercorn? It’s a burst of flavor that explodes in your mouth. While that might sound like a good thing, it overpowers everything else on the plate for a while. I don’t put peppercorns in my dumpling broth.
I don’t think Hubby grew up with Chicken and Dumplings the same way I did. He really didn’t seem all that keen on the idea that when it rained, I boiled chicken and plopped biscuit dough into the pot. Over the years, I’ve made changes to both the chicken and the dumplings. This recipe seemed to hit a home-run with my non-dumpling eating Hubby. He actually went back for seconds.
I credit that to two things – the herbs in the dumplings and the fact that after boiling the chicken, it’s cubed and browned for deeper flavor as well as a nice texture to the meat that boiling alone cannot achieve. Hope you give this recipe a try and let me know what you think.
Southern Comfort Chicken and Herb Dumplings
Chicken and Stock
3 boneless Chicken Breasts
4 cups Chicken Stock
3 cups Water
2 Celery Ribs
3 large Carrots
1/2 Yellow Onion
2 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
1-1/2 teaspoons Salt, divided
1 teaspoon Dried Thyme, divided
1 teaspoon Crushed Rosemary, divided
1/2 teaspoon Coarse-Ground Black Pepper, divided
1/2 cup Cold Water
1/4 cup Flour
3/4 cup Frozen Peas
4 tablespoons Butter
In a large Dutch Oven, bring chicken breasts, chicken stock and water to a boil. Continue to boil until chicken breasts are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from stock, set aside and let cool.
While the chicken breasts are cooking, clean and chop celery, set aside. Peel and chop carrots into small pieces, set aside. Peel and dice onion, set aside.
Heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, swirling the pan to distribute the oil as it warms. Add the celery, carrots, and onion. Sauté until the vegetables are softened and the vegetables begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Season with 1/2 teaspoon each salt, thyme and crushed rosemary. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper. Stir to blend well.
Once the chicken breasts have been removed from the stock in the Dutch Oven, add sautéed vegetables. Stir to combine, bring stock to a simmer.
In a glass measuring cup, whisk cold water with flour to create a slurry. Slowly pour the slurry into the hot stock with vegetables. Whisk constantly until well combined. Allow stock to continue to simmer.
Cut chicken breasts into bite-size cubes. Season with remaining salt, thyme, crushed rosemary and black pepper. Add a little more oil to the empty skillet. Heat over medium heat. Add chicken and brown, turning with a spatula for even coloring, about 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the browned chicken pieces and frozen peas to the pot. Stir for about minute to combine and bring stock to a simmer once again. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, gently stir to incorporate the butter as it melts.
Taste stock, adjust seasoning as desired. Let simmer while making the dumplings.
1 cup Flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Rosemary
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/2 cup Milk
1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, thyme and rosemary. Set aside
In another mixing bowl, stir together the sour cream, milk, and vegetable oil. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; stir until just combined.
Heat the stock in the Dutch Oven to boiling. Drop dumpling dough by the teaspoonfuls over the stock in a single layer. Give the dumplings room to expand as they cook.
Reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let the dumplings cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
When done, gently stir to break dumplings apart. Ladle chicken and dumplings with the stock into warm bowls. Serve and enjoy.
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