Chicken and Dumplings

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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.

Ingredients: dried herbs, celery, onions, flour, butter, baking powder, chicken stock and organic chicken drumsticks.

Ingredients: dried herbs, celery, onions, flour, butter, baking powder, chicken stock and organic chicken drumsticks.

Cook the chicken in stock along with a couple bay leaves and some salt, just until tender.

Cook the chicken in stock along with a couple bay leaves and some salt, just until tender.

Chicken, out of the broth and then hand shredded. You can chop if you like, but I like to take my time and really get rid of any extra fat or cartilage  pieces. Is there anything worse than looking forward to biting into a big ol' hunk of chicken and getting gristle? NO.

Chicken, out of the broth and then hand shredded. You can chop if you like, but I like to take my time and really get rid of any extra fat or cartilage pieces. Is there anything worse than looking forward to biting into a big ol’ hunk of chicken and getting gristle? NO.

No, it's not a jar full of imported Italian tuna filets (although they were delicious), it's my secret stash of bacon fat I keep in the fridge. I think you should do the same.

No, it’s not a jar full of imported Italian tuna filets (although they were delicious), it’s my secret stash of bacon fat I keep in the fridge. I think you should do the same.

bacon fat.

bacon fat.

 

Celery and onion. They don't know it yet, but they're super excited to be cooked in bacon fat.

Celery and onion. They don’t know it yet, but they’re super excited to be cooked in bacon fat.

Once the onions begin to soften, sprinkle the flour on top to create your roux.

 

After adding stock to the roux, add dried herbs. This is my favorite part of the recipe, because this is when my house starts to smell like Thanksgiving.

After adding stock to the roux, add dried herbs. This is my favorite part of the recipe, because this is when my house starts to smell like Thanksgiving.

Dumpling time!

Flour, baking powder and sea salt.

Flour, baking powder and sea salt.

Work the cubed butter into the flour until it looks like a course meal.

Work the cubed butter into the flour until it looks like a course meal.

Tiny kitchen tip: I know the butter has been incorporated well when I squeeze the flour in my fist, let go, and it holds that shape.

Tiny kitchen tip: I know the butter has been incorporated well when I squeeze the flour in my fist, let go, and it holds that shape.

Incorporate just enough milk for dough to come together. That may be the whole 3/4 cup, more or less. Use your best judgement. And your fingers.

Incorporate just enough milk for dough to come together. That may be the whole 3/4 cup, more or less. Use your best judgement. And your fingers.

Add the chicken back into the simmering stock and get ready for dumpling times!

 

This is the fun part – drop tablespoonfuls of the dumpling dough into simmering broth. Make sure the broth is simmering – this sets the dumpling so it doesn’t fall apart.

Just bubbling and delicious. NOM.

Can we give a shout out to my henna tattoo?

Can we give a shout out to my henna tattoo?

I mean, look how fluffy and delicious that dumpling is!

I mean, look how fluffy and delicious that dumpling is!

It pays to hand shred the chicken. It's also a great stress reliever lol

It pays to hand shred the chicken. I love big CHONKS of chicken in this!  It’s also a great stress reliever lol

Bam! Sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top and GIT IT IN.

Bam! Sprinkle a little chopped parsley on top and GIT IT IN.

 

 

Chicken and Dumplings

makes 8 servings in about 1 hr 15 minutes

Ingredients

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

 

Directions

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.

Dumpling time!

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.

 

Notes

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.

 

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