Monday, January 14, 2013

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings

When Amber announced January was soup and stew month, I turned to my Cook’s Illustrated Soups Stews & Chilis cookbook. I sat next to Curtis on the couch, watching the Seahawks smash the Redskins, and browsed through the pages until I found a recipe that sounded delicious and didn’t require a trip to the grocery store.

I found a recipe for Chicken and Dumplings that could be easily be adapted for a simple and satisfying Sunday dinner. I love chicken pot pie but have never made nor had chicken and dumplings. The verdict (from both Curtis and me) is that this is really delicious, but I think I was expecting the “dumplings” to be more like biscuits or a chicken pot pie crust. Once I got over this and embraced what dumplings are, it was pretty darn good. I tripled the recipe so we’d have enough to share with our frozen dinner club.

The original recipe calls for roasting chicken thighs, which I’m sure is amazing, but I followed Missy (Easy Chicken and Wild Rice Soup) and Megan’s (Easy Pho) lead and took a shortcut and just boiled and shredded chicken breasts. It also calls for celery which I didn’t have on hand, so I threw in a sweet potato instead. It was perfect Sunday comfort food after a busy fun-filled weekend with the Beauties in Bellingham!

Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Soups Stews & Chilis

Note: The recipe specifically says NOT to substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts or to use low-fat milk for the dumplings – I did both and it turned out just fine! 

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (I boiled from frozen for about 20 minutes and they pulled apart perfectly and were nice and moist.)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 celery ribs, sliced ¼ inch thick (I didn’t have any, so I threw in a peeled and chopped sweet potato)
1 medium onion, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves or ¼ teaspoon dried
1/3 cup flour
¼ cup dry sherry (I buy the cheap stuff from Trader Joe’s and keep it on hand for cooking)
4 ½ cups chicken broth
4 carrots, peeled and sliced ¼ inch thick
2 bay leaves
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup frozen corn
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk (I used 1%)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Boil and shred chicken breasts (this takes about 20 minutes).
2. Heat oil and butter in a soup pot or Dutch oven. Add the celery (or sweet potato), onion, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until the vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the sherry, scraping up any browned bits.
3. Gradually whisk in the broth, smoothing out any lumps. Stir in the carrots, bay leaves, and shredded chicken.
4. Stir in the peas, corn and parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. (At this point the stew can be refrigerated for up to 3 days; reheat over medium low heat.)
5. FOR THE DUMPLINGS: Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl (I used my kitchen aid mixer). Microwave the milk and butter until the mixture is warm and add it to the flour mixture.
6. Return the stew to a simmer. Drop golf ball size dumplings into the stew, leaving about ¼ inch of space around each dumpling. Cover, reduce to a gentle simmer, and book until the dumplings have doubled in size, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve.

Cocktail Hour in Bellingham courtesy of Kirsten - Recipes coming to Thirsty Thursday soon! 


  1. Yum! Sounds really satisfying, especially since the weather has turned so cold.

  2. I agree, this is perfect for a frosty day such as the ones we keep having. I love all the colorful, yummy ingredients in this one!

  3. YUM! I was looking at Chicken and Dumpling recipies. will have to try this one.