Who likes homemade chicken & dumplings? WHO DOESN’T!!! It is cold and dreary out today and junior has been getting over a cold so I decided to make something hot and yummy – creamy chicken and dumplings with old fashioned rolled dumplings, mmmmmm good!
Before I go on to the recipe, I wanted to share something kind of funny. A few months ago we were giving a bunch of canned goods for our pantry and while some of them were things we would use like canned fruit, veggies, tuna and beans there were some items that…well…we would have to be starving to death before we ate them. I am not saying I am not grateful for what was given to us, just saying, luckily we did not have to eat the weird canned macaroni, meat and pinto beans, stew or chicken and dumplings. Jonathan thought one day that it might be a good idea to give the dogs a can of chicken and dumplings so he opened and scooped out the contents into a bowl and said…”Mom! What are these white blobs in here, are they dumplings or what???” Hahahaha, yes dear THOSE are canned dumplings. He shuddered and said “yours look and smell a lot better than these. ” I smiled, sigh – “thank you sweetie!” This coming from the kids that believes pizza rolls and toaster strudels are the coolest foods ever. 🙂
If you already have a good chicken stock in the freezer, you can skip this first part. I save up all of my chicken carcasses, chicken legs, onion scraps in the freezer until I am ready to make stock. Today I had a bunch of stuff to use so in the pot went 3 carcasses, a chicken back and two baked legs from two nights ago, along with water to cover,
a couple tablespoons of raw apple cider vinegar(to help get those nutrients from the bones)
a half an onion
5 cloves garlic
a couple slices dried reishi mushrooms
some button mushrooms that are a bit wilty but good enough for stock
4-5 sliced dried astragalus root
some tumeric, salt and pepper
celery stalks and a cut up carrot
Bring to a boil, turn down to low and cover tightly. Check every so often but let cook for a few hours. The longer the better. Strain out the delicious, rich broth into another pot or a large bowl. You want to have about 8 cups of broth to use for the chicken and dumplings. Anything left, go ahead and freeze for later.
To the broth, add:
cut up raw chicken breasts or tenders OR add in cooked chicken after the veggies are tender.
1 cup of diced onion(my family does not like onion so I add less since it is already flavored in the broth)
1 cup of diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
salt and pepper
Cook until chicken is done and veggies are tender.
Nice rich looking broth before veggies are added!!! Meanwhile make your rolled dumplings.
2 cups all purpose unbleached flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or a couple knives. You want it to be crumbly. Add milk to make a stiff dough.
Knead 5 or 6 times – no more. Roll out onto a floured board with a floured rolling pin to about 1/8″ thickness. Cut into 1″ squares, diamonds or whatever shape you like! I use my little pastry cutter that makes a nice crinkly looking edge.
Sprinkle lightly with flour and set aside. If you are not going to add these within 30 minutes, I would put them in the fridge and cover. When the veggies and chicken are ready, drop in the dumplings carefully. Cover tightly and boil GENTLY 8-10 minutes.
Now to make your soup thicker you can do this one of two ways:
Add 1 can of cream of chicken soup
OR add about 1/2-2/3 cup of milk with flour to thicken(my preferred method)
Salt and pepper to taste, let cook on low a few minutes until thickened, although it never gets super thick until the next day when placed in the fridge. But either way it is oh so delish!!!
Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does. 🙂