You know how when you don’t grow up eating something, you just don’t like it? It’s not the taste that you don’t like, it’s just the fact that your mom didn’t make it? That’s me with chicken and dumplings. My mom may have made it a few times (I can’t remember… sorry mom) but it definitely wasn’t something that frequented our table. And therefore, I don’t like it.
My husband, however, grew up eating it so of course, it’s one of his favorites.
You guys might remember that I made a cheater version last month when my husband was out of town and the snow was falling on us – and I liked it fine but I really wanted to try a real version now that the husband is home.
It turned out really good! The dumplings were soft and doughy, and the sauce was thick and amazing! I think I could’ve eaten a bowl of just the sauce and called it dinner. (Is it even sauce? Is it soup? I don’t know…) It’s still not my favorite but I won’t roll my eyes in disgust the next time my husband requests it. Progress, my friends, progress.
1 large fryer chicken (4-5 lbs.), neck and gizzards removed
1 large onion, peeled and cut in half
3 carrots, cut into large pieces
3 stalks of celery, cut into large pieces
Kosher salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
For the dumplings
3 cups flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
Place the chicken, onions, carrots, and celery in a large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so water maintains a gentle simmer. Cook chicken for 1 hour or until cooked through (about 165 degrees).
Once chicken is done, remove from the broth and let cool. Remove chicken from the bone and shred into medium-sized pieces, discarding bones and skin.
Pour the chicken broth through a fine mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth, discarding vegetables. Reserve 6 cups of the broth for the dumplings. (You can refrigerate or freeze the rest to use in for another recipe.)
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with your fingertips until it resembles small peas.
Add milk — ¼ cup at a time, you may not need a full cup — and stir until a ball of dough just begins to form, being careful not to over-mix.
Roll out the dough onto floured surface. Roll about ¼ inch thick. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife, cut dough into rectangles about 1 inch wide by 3 inches long. Place strips on wax paper and allow to harden up a bit, about 30 minutes.
In a large pot or dutch oven over medium-low heat, bring broth to a gentle simmer and drop in dumplings. Cover and allow to cook for 6-7 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add chicken. Allow to cook until thickened, approximately 15-20 minutes, or longer. Season generously with salt and pepper.