Wednesday, January 20, 2010

domestic goddess in the making?

chicken and dumplings--FROM SCRATCH

I've never attempted chicken and dumplings before--just didn't think i'd be able to make the dumplings properly. besides, didn't i need to make my own chicken stock, and wasn't that a pain in the ass? well, monday i decided to make some stock--which,  incidentally, is super-friggin easy, particularly with a crock pot at your disposal. after letting it cool and putting boys to bed, i pulled off the meat and strained the stock. unfortunately for my grand plans, the carcass (and wings and neck) only yielded less than half a pound of meat, so "plain" chicken and dumplings was no longer in the cards.

after waiting a day (okay, not intentionally--yesterday was a clingy, whiny boy day and i needed a nap when daddy got home), i decided to just add some vegetables and beans to it and give it a go. here's the recipe i made up:

Chicken and Dumplings, raegan-style
1 c diced carrots
.5c diced celery
.5c diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
.5 t tarragon
.5 t crushed rosemary
1 T olive oil
1 c dry white wine
6-8 cups chicken broth
2 c pinto beans, cooked
.5 - 1lb shredded chicken (to add after dumplings)

In a saute pan, stir together carrots, celery, and wine over  medium heat until most of the wine is cooked off. To a preheated dutch oven (or soup pot), add the olive oil, then garlic an onion, cooking until the onion is translucent or beginning to caramelize. add the carrots and celery, continuing to stir, until onions are caramelized. Add the chicken stock, dried herbs and beans, and bring to a boil. Now it's time to make the dumplings.

I used the dumpling portion of this recipe, which follows (with my minor alterations):

2 – Cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 – Teaspoon Salt
5 – Tablespoons Butter
1 – Egg
1/2 – Cup Whole Milk

Mix your flour, salt, egg, butter and milk in a stand mixer or hand mixer. Continue to mix until a ball forms. Separate into two portions, place a portion between two sheets of waxed paper, and roll out the dough to about 1/8 inch. Remove the top sheet of waxed paper and use a pizza cutter to cut your dough into bite size pieces. If you feel creative try cutting out small circles, squares or diamond patterns.

Bring the chicken broth to a boil. Drop dumplings *one at a time* into boiling broth, ensuring that they submerge. Add all of your dumplings to the broth.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Add chicken and simmer until chicken is heated….your dumplings are now ready to serve.

that's it. it's surprisingly fast. and super-easy to keep the ingredients on hand in the freezer. i'm pretty sure every time we get a rotisserie chicken from costco or i make my crockpot rotisserie-style chicken (from which this stock was made), i'll save the carcass and wings to make some stock and probably chicken and dumplings. i actually like that it stretches a small amount of meat into an entire hearty meal for the whole family. and the dumplings had great texture. and to think, it took 14 years of living away from my mom to give them a try!


  1. I've always been too scared to try dumplings too!! I think you've inspired me though :) Did they taste as good as the dumplings you hold as the gold standard?

  2. ha, you mean the ones in the can? then YES. or my aunt's? then YES even to that. these have some great texture--even khary (who doesn't like anything "mushy" loved them).

    give 'em a try! :)