There are many different ways to make chicken and dumplings. Some people make fluffy drop-style dumplings, some people make biscuit-style dumplings, but my mom and I agree that the best dumplings are thin, slippery, and noodle-like. In Delaware we call them "slippery dumplings". Maybe other people call them something else. Maybe other people have never experienced them. All I know is that if I came home after a long day during the cold weather months I would love to have a pot of chicken and dumplings on the stove.
This recipe isn't complicated, but it's just time consuming with all the chopping, browning, simmering, and stirring.
First, prep your veggies. I run mine through my Cuisinart food processor because I have to chop them really small to get my husband to eat them.
I season my chicken with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika, then brown it before throwing in 1/2 of the veggies and a few minutes later, chicken broth, a bay leaf, and a bunch of fresh thyme. Then you just let it simmer for about 45 minutes (until the chicken is cooked).
Now, the fun part. This is the part of the recipe that requires the most skill, but don't worry, you can do this. Dumpings! Add warm milk and melted butter to a mixture of flour and baking powder, then knead it to form a ball, roll it out, and cut it (I use a pizza cutter). Then you slowly drop those dumplings into the broth, one by one. Let them cook until tender (I like to let mine sit for at least an hour).
Chicken and Dumplings
adapted from Emeril Lagasse's recipe
3 bone-in chicken breasts, about 2 pounds total
1 t. salt
1/2 t. pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. paprika
2 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
6 cups chicken broth
2 T. unsalted butter
4 T. all-purpose flour
1 T. chopped fresh parsley leaves
for the dumplings:
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3 t. baking powder
3/4 c. milk
2 T. butter
1/2 t. salt
Season the chicken on both sides with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven and, when hot, add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Turn the chicken over and add half of the chopped onion, half of the carrot and half of the celery and cook until the thighs are lightly browned on the second side, about 3 minutes. Add the thyme, bay leaf, and chicken broth. Cover the pan and cook on medium heat until the thighs are tender and the meat pulls away from the bone easily, 30 to 40 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, combine the butter and flour in a small heatproof bowl and, using your fingers or a pastry blender, blend until smooth. Set aside.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken, chopped vegetables, thyme, and bay leaf from the cooking liquid and transfer to a plate to cool. Ladle 1 cup of the hot cooking liquid into the bowl with the butter-flour mixture and whisk to combine. Add this mixture to the pan along with the onion chunks, sliced carrot and sliced celery and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 10 minutes over medium heat, or until the vegetables are just tender.
While the veggies are cooking, make the dumplings by combining the flour, baking powder and salt in a small mixing bowl. Heat the milk and butter until warm and the butter is melted. Add the warm milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead lightly once or twice. Using a floured rolling pin, roll to a thickness of 1/8-inch. Using a knife (or pizza cutter), cut the rolled out dumpling batter into 1 1/2-inch strips.
When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and discard the bones, chicken skin and cooked vegetables. Reserve the meat separately.
When the veggies are crisp-tender, uncover the pan and add the reserved chicken meat to the cooking liquid. Stir to combine, increase the heat to medium-high and, when the mixture comes to a boil, add the dumplings, 1 strip at a time, to the pan, using a spoon to gently submerge the dumplings in the hot mixture. Cook, uncovered and undisturbed, until the dumplings are cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir gently and serve in wide shallow bowls.