Doesn’t this chilly weather call for a nice big bowl of steaming hot goodness? Well, The Best Chicken and Dumplings is definitely the answer for me today. There is something that just screams back to my childhood when I eat those cute little fluffy balls of dough swimming in that hot and flavorful broth…YUM. In my younger years I always thought this would be really hard to make…but honestly, they are very easy. There are a few steps here but nothing crazy. And believe me, this dish is SO worth any effort it takes to make them.
Speaking of making chicken and dumplings, I always make mine in my favorite Le Creuset Dutch Oven. I waited until I was a mature adult before I invested in one of the babies and BOY OH BOY are they just awesome to cook in. Well, today is a lucky day for one of my readers…We are having an incredible giveaway that includes a Le Creuset Dutch Oven so they can make this scrumptious meal in it! Enter the giveaway here.
Making chicken and dumplings used to terrify me and one mistake I made before discovering a “secret” was that I would throw my dumplings in the bubbling broth and not cover the pot to let them steam. Steaming= light, fluffy dumplings. Boiling= tough dumplings.
Hungry yet? I AM!
Now head on over to our Le Creuset Giveaway! Good Luck!
- For the chicken:
- 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 ½ pounds chicken (split breasts, thighs and drumsticks), rinsed and pat dry
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
- For the broth:
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed then minced
- ¼ cup flour
- 6 cups chicken stock
- ½ cup dry white wine or apple cider
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 5 peppercorns
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoons parsley, chopped
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
- salt/pepper to taste
- For the Dumplings:
- 2 cups cake flour (or all purpose flour)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1- 1¼ cups milk
- Heat the oil in a medium to large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Mix flour with salt and pepper and sprinkle over chicken.
- Place chicken in heated pan to brown, skin-side down. Do not overcrowd pan, work in batches if necessary. Turn the chicken over and continue to cook the chicken until browned, about 5 minutes per side. Don’t worry about the chicken being fully cooked, it will finish cooking in the stock later.
- Working in the same Dutch oven, add carrot, celery and onion and sauté until crisp-tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté another minute. Add flour and toss to coat. Cook another minute.
- Pour chicken stock into pan and stir well to dissolve the flour. Add wine or apple cider, sugar, bay leaves and peppercorns.
- Add the chicken pieces and cover Dutch oven. Let cook for 20 minutes.
- While chicken is cooking, make the dumplings. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add melted butter and 1 cup of the milk and stir well to mix. Add flour if dough is too sticky to work with, add milk if it's too dry. It should be thick and cake-like.
- Do not overmix the dough.
- Using a spoon, scoop out 1 ½- 2 inch dumplings and place them on a parchment-lined baking tray. Set aside.
- Remove chicken pieces from the broth and using a fork, pull the meat off the bone. Use one more fork and shred meat into about 1- 1½-inch chunks. Add the chicken back to the pan and remove bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and add dumplings.
- Cook, COVERED (to steam the dumplings) for 15 minutes. Do not remove lid while dumplings are steaming (this will ensure they are fluffy).
- Stir in cream, parsley and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.