Look, I know it’s far too warm outside to be chicken and dumplings weather. However, we all do have more time at home than usual, and groceries are a little harder to come by than usual … which means we are definitely in the midst of a chicken and dumplings season.
Plus, we could all use a little extra comfort right about now, couldn’t we? And nothing says comfort better than chicken and dumplings.
I’ve tried probably half a dozen recipes for chicken and dumplings. I started off using drop dumplings made from the recipe on the back of the Bisquik box; then, realizing I almost never have Bisquik on hand, I tried several rolled-out scratch dumplings. The first batch was tough, and the second was gummy. I returned to drop dumplings, but the versions I tried also required thickening the chicken stew in a separate, extra step.
No. Just, no. What is this strange madness? Did they have a Yankee create these recipes? The stew for chicken and dumplings is supposed to thicken itself. No “cream of” soup or separate step required.
Enter: this version. I tried combining a biscuit recipe that I found in an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook with my usual chicken and dumplings method, and it was just easy enough that I think I could pull it off even on a regular weeknight.
Plus, it made use of a chicken carcass, enabling my family of five to get our protein from a single roasted chicken for two meals, plus leftovers. That’s the kind of meal I need when going to the grocery store is a twice-a-month adventure.
The first night, I rubbed the chicken down with a garlic butter seasoning blend and put it in the air fryer at 350, breast side down, for about an hour. I flipped it over and continued to air fry for about 15 more minutes to brown the breast.
We ate it with sauteed zucchini, rolls, roasted potatoes, and dessert the first night. (That’s important: if you want to have leftover chicken meat, you must serve plenty of sides with the chicken on the first night.)
After dinner, I stripped the bones clean. I put the leftover meat in one ziptop bag and the carcass in another.
The next day, I popped the carcass into my slow cooker and covered it with water. I added a couple cloves of garlic and a tablespoon of bullion and cooked the whole shebang for about four hours on high. When it was done, I poured the broth through a colander and into a large cooking pot. I tossed the solids and kept the broth to make into this recipe.
I realize that sounds like a lot of steps. It is a lot of steps, but the steps are also really quick. Most of the work is hands-off. And let’s face it: you’ll be home anyway.
I hope you try this recipe and enjoy it. Stay safe, friends.
Amelia Plair is a mom and high school teacher in Starkville. Email reaches her at email@example.com.
CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS
3 cups chicken broth (made from chicken carcass, garlic, water, and chicken bouillon)
About 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
2 cups self-rising flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
■ Pour chicken broth into saucepan and bring to a boil. Add cooked chicken and turn heat down to simmer (just bubbling on the edges, not a rolling boil). Taste broth and add salt and pepper as needed. In the meantime, place flour and whipping cream into a mixing bowl. Mix with a large spoon just until the dough comes together; if it appears too dry or shaggy, add more cream, about a tablespoon at a time. (If you really like dumplings, you can easily increase this recipe. Just maintain the proportion of two parts flour to one part cream.)
■ When chicken broth is bubbling, use a teaspoon or small cookie scoop to drop dumplings over the top of the stew. Do not stir. Cover the pot. (This is an important step. If you do not have a lid, use a plate or cookie sheet. The pot must be covered for the dumplings to cook properly.) Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Do not peek. When you lift the lid, some of the dumplings will have fallen apart to thicken the chicken broth. Serve immediately.
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