Classic Chicken And Dumplings: A Comfort Food Favorite

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Chicken and dumplings is a soul-warming comfort food classic. Fluffy dumplings nestled in a savory chicken broth with tender pieces of chicken – it’s the perfect meal for a cozy night in. But achieving that perfect balance of flavors and textures can sometimes feel like a mystery. Fear not! This guide will take you through everything you need to know to make incredible chicken and dumplings from scratch, complete with easy-to-follow instructions and helpful tips.

Gathering the Goods (Ingredients):

Chicken and Dumplings
Chicken and Dumplings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 cup milk (plus additional for adjusting dough consistency)

  • Step-by-Step (Directions):

    1. Sauté the Aromatics: In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, until fragrant.
    2. Build the Broth: Pour in the chicken broth, water, bay leaf, and thyme sprigs. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
    3. Simmer the Chicken: Add the chicken pieces, parsley, black pepper, and salt to the pot. Increase heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside on a plate.
    4. Crafting the Dumplings: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry cutter or your fingertips, cut the cubed cold butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add the milk, one tablespoon at a time, until a soft dough forms. Be careful not to overmix – the dough should be slightly sticky but manageable.
    5. Dumpling Time! On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to about 1/4-inch thickness. Use a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass to cut out dumpling circles. Alternatively, you can shape the dough into small balls with floured hands.
    6. Bringing it all Together: Increase the heat of the broth to medium-low. Carefully drop the dumplings into the simmering broth, making sure they don’t crowd the pot. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through and float to the surface.
    7. The Grand Finale: Once the dumplings are cooked, return the shredded chicken to the pot and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve immediately in bowls, spooning broth, chicken, and dumplings into each serving.

    Nutritional Powerhouse (Nutrition Facts):

    (Serving size: 1 cup)

    Calories: 450

  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg
  • Sodium: 800mg (depending on broth used)
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 30g

  • Please note: This is an approximate nutritional breakdown and can vary depending on the specific ingredients used.

    The Comforting Conclusion:

    Chicken and dumplings is a delicious and satisfying meal that’s perfect for feeding a crowd. With this recipe, you can create a homemade version that rivals any grandma’s secret recipe. The combination of fluffy dumplings and flavorful chicken broth is sure to warm your heart and fill your belly. So grab your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and get ready to create a comforting classic!

    Frequently Asked Questions (After the Conclusion):

    1. Can I use pre-cooked chicken?

    Absolutely! If you’re short on time, you can use pre-cooked, shredded chicken to save on prep time. Simply add the cooked chicken to the pot with the broth in step 3 and simmer for a few minutes to heat through.

    2. What can I substitute for milk in the dumplings?