Introduction: Easy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
This is my mom's recipe and one of my most favorite things to eat. The dumplings in the dish are the doughy, chewy kind. They're easier to make and stay together better. :D
This recipe also uses a whole chicken, which is cheaper. You won't need to buy expensive sodium-laden chicken broths for this. No sir!
This recipe does take a while to make (about 2 hours), but most of it is time spent simmering so you can do something else during it... like make homemade chocolate cream pie. Which is exactly what we did. Full instructabilization here: https://www.instructables.com/id/Chocolate-cream-pie/
You can also use this recipe to make chicken noodle soup - just up the veggies and add egg noodles at the end instead! Hooray!
Step 1: Ingredients
- 3 stalks of celery + leaves
- 2 carrots or a couple handfuls of baby carrots
- 1/4-1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1 small to medium onion
- 3+ cloves of garlic (to taste)
- 3 lb. whole fresh chicken
- salt, pepper and parsley to taste
- 6 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- pinch of dried or fresh parsley and dried sage
- bit of salt, pepper and garlic powder
- 2 tbsp of broth to make a wet dough
- a pan large enough to fit the chicken and a considerable amount of dumplings
- cutting board
- measuring cups
- mixing bowls
- a table spoon
Step 2: Prep Work: Chicken!
Wash the chicken thoroughly. Make sure you wash inside the cavity and discard the bundled innards if it came with those.
My mom suggests that you cut off the "butt fat" where the tail feathers where and to also trim the skin around the neck area. This will get rid of extra fat in the soup.
Also check and make sure that the bird has been properly plucked - having feather bits in your soup is not a good thing. Mom says to especially check under the arms!
Now put the chicken in a large pot, breast up! Add water just to cover. Put it on the stove and bring it to a boil. While it's coming to a boil, move on to the next step.
I hope this step includes enough naked chicken pictures for everyone. :)
Step 3: Prep Work: Veggies!
Dice those veggies!
Cut the celery vertically into two and then into one inch chunks. Slice the leaves pretty finely. Cut the carrots into small cubes or rounds. Chop the onion to personal taste! Smash the garlic cloves with the side of your knife and mince them! You can leave the peas alone - just let them hang out for now.
Now that you've finished the veggies, your water should be boiling. :D
Step 4: Simmering: Phase One!
Add the celery (stalks and leaves), onion and garlic to the pan. Season with salt, pepper and parsley!
Lower the heat and let it simmer, cracking the lid a bit, for an hour.
Step 5: Simmering: Phase 2!
Now you'll add the carrots and peas. We're adding these later because they're prone to get mushy and break up if left in too long. :)
Keep it at a low simmer, lid cracked, for another half hour, stirring occasionally.
Step 6: Pull the Chicken Out of the Pan!
When the chicken is done, you should be able to prick the breast with a fork and the fork should slide in and out quite easily.
Lift the chicken out of the pan onto a large plate. We used two spatulas to do this. Try to get the chicken out in one piece - it can be a little hard! Dredge for any meat or bones left behind in the pan and turn the heat off.
You'll let the chicken rest while you make the dumplings.
Step 7: Make the Dumplings!
Crack six eggs in a medium sized bowl and add seasonings. (Salt, pepper, sage, garlic powder and parsley.) Beat the eggs for a little bit to combine.
Add the two cups of flour and stir well until most of the flour has been absorbed. You should have a sticky and slightly dry dough at this time.
Now add 2 tbsp. of hot broth to the bowl and mix. You should wind up with a soft wet dough.
Turn the heat up to medium high and get ready to cook!
Step 8: Cooking the Dumplings!
I took a video of this part because I think it makes it easier to understand.
Make sure you have the heat set on medium-high and that there's a fair bit of bubbling going on. Dip a spoon into the hot broth and then scoop out a small amount of the dough. Bring the dough back to the pan and dip it in the broth. You might have to shake it off the spoon. :)
Just make sure to keep the spoon moist and you'll do fine! Try to keep the amount on the spoon under control. The dough puffs up a ton when it's cooked!
Once the last dumpling goes in, lower the heat to medium and cook for ten minutes! While they're cooking, go on to the next step and shred the chicken!
Step 9: Shredding the Chicken!
This is the best part.
Using a fork and your fingers, get every usable scrap of meat off the bird. Try to make sure you separate the fat and skin from the meat. Those are unwanted fat & grease!
Make sure you're eliminating all bones from the meat as well. Chickens have a lot of teeny little bones. Be careful!
Transfer the tasty bits to a separate plate.
Step 10: Adding It All Together!
By now the dumplings should be cooked, so dump your shredded chicken back in the heat it all up!
If your broth is too runny for you, now is the time to thicken it. My mom uses 2 heaping tbsp. of flour and 3/4 cup water. She shakes these together in a small jar until there are no lumps and adds it to the pot. You can also use cornstarch if that's your thing.
Let it simmer for five minutes after adding any thickener to make sure it's properly cooked through. :)
Taste it and adjust the seasonings. You might need to add a little more salt and pepper! If you have fresh parsley on hand, add a bit of that. It's really good that way!