I love chicken and dumplings. And I know it’s summer and it’s hot n’ shit, but I wanted warm, delicious comfort food. This is also a great recipe for leftover chicken. If you are using leftover chicken, you can just skip the first step of boiling the chicken in the broth and go right to the dumpling makin’.
I used a combo of drumsticks and thighs for the chicken, only because I prefer dark meat over white. Use whichever type you like, I just recommend using something bone-in, since that’s where the flavor lives. It makes the broth extra chicken-y and delicious.
I also prefer my chicken and dumplings a little on the thicker side – more the consistency of a brown gravy than a chicken noodle soup. Again, do you boo. If you like it thinner, add more stock after the roux has cooked. Speaking of roux… I like to make mine with bacon fat instead of butter. Call it my dirty little secret.
Chicken and Dumplings
makes 8 servings in about 1 hr 15 minutes
6 lbs of chicken pieces, cut up
4 cups of chicken stock
2 tsp of salt
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp butter (or bacon fat, see notes)
1 onion, diced
4 ribs of celery, sliced thin
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
For the biscuits
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp butter, cubed
3 tbsp chopped parsley
3/4 cup milk, more as needed
In a large pot, place chicken pieces, chicken stock, 2 teaspoons of salt and bay leaves. Cook on medium-low heat partially covered until chicken is cooked and tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Remove chicken from broth and let cool enough to handle. Shred or chop chicken into bite size pieces.
In a large pot (note: I dumped the stock the chicken cooked in into another bowl and used the same pot), melt butter (or bacon fat, if using) over medium-high heat. Add in chopped celery and onion. Saute until onions just start to soften, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle 2 tbsp of flour over onions and celery and whisk continuously to create a thick roux. Cook for 2 minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste.
Slowly pour in chicken stock, being careful to whisk continuously as you do to prevent lumps. Add in black pepper, basil and thyme. Let the flavors marry and simmer for about 15 minutes. Add in chicken and continue to simmer. While simmering, start on the dumpling dough.
For the dumplings
Combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to combine. Work the cubed butter into the flour with a pastry cutter (or your hands, son) until the mixture resembles course crumbs. Add in chopped parsley.
Add in milk. This mixture is moist, but not super wet. Just use enough milk to bring the mixture together. If you need more, add in 1 tsp at a time until the mixture comes together.
Make sure your broth is at a nice simmer. Drop in rounded tablespoonfuls into the simmering stock, trying to keep dough from touching. Cook, uncovered, for about 10 minutes to let the dumplings set. Cover and simmer an additional 8-10 minutes until dumplings are cooked through and tender.
Garnish with some additional chopped parsley and eat that shit. Pow.
You can totally use leftover or a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store for this. It’s great for leftover chicken. It also cuts the cooking time by about half.
Please hand shred the chicken and get rid of the gristly parts. Please?
Bacon fat is totally not necessary for the roux, but let me just tell you how having a stash of bacon fat makes dishes pop. Roasted potatoes or brussels sprouts w/ a little bacon fat is just… phenomenal. And if you want bacon fat but don’t have any, render a few slices down and sprinkle it on top of the dish when it’s done. Bacon never goes to waste. Ever.