03 February 2008

Gotta Have Comfort Food - Chicken and Dumplings

My husband has been working so hard, that I have been trying very hard to make him some good, nourishing, stick to your ribs dinners. Comfort food. Mmmm. I decided to take a chance and make Chicken and Dumplings - the chance part because the last time I made them for him he really didn't like them. This is a big deal around here - because that man eats pretty much anything that isn't seafood and isn't extremely spicy. I think the dumpling failure was that the dumplings were the drop kind, and ended up being a bit like soggy bread. (I didn't like them either!) So I tried the roll out kind. It were awesome awesome awesome. (That's three awesomes - did you count them?) He isn't home for dinner yet - but I just know he's gonna love it.
I also assessed the cost of this recipe - $4 for a whole chicken, $.99 for celery (bought at a local market - probably found cheaper elsewhere), and $.35 for an onion. The dumpling ingredients were staples that are already on hand - maybe another $1-2 worth. So at most this meal cost $8 and it will feed our family of 5 at least twice. So, this also qualifies in my book as a frugal meal. I will likely link to this for a frugal recipe swap sometime in the near future.
Here is the recipe I used:


Chicken Preparation:

1 4 lb broiler or roasting chicken

2 quarts water or chicken broth

1 onion, whole

1 bay leaf (optional)

2-3 cloves garlic, crushed

pinch of black pepper

2-3 stalks celery, whole, plus leaves

Wash chicken, inside and out. Place in a large enough pot to cover with about 2 quarts of water or chicken broth. Add celery, a bay leaf (optional), parsley, pepper, onion and garlic. Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce heat immediately to low; simmer for 60-90 minutes until chicken is very tender. Remove chicken from the broth and set on a dish to cool. Continue to simmer the broth over low heat while preparing the dumplings. When chicken becomes cool enough to handle, cut into bite size pieces, removing bones and skin. Set de-boned chicken aside.


2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

2 tablespoons cold butter

1 cup buttermilk (I used 1 tsp. vinegar in a cup of milk)

In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening using a pastry blender or a large fork (pastry makers mix in the shortening using their hands - if you want to try, dip your hands in ice cold water for a minute, then dry your hands first; it's important not to melt the butter!) Add cold buttermilk, a few spoons at a time, mixing the dough from the outside in with fork until a dough forms (do not overmix - about 2 minutes total). Roll dough out on a work surface which has been lightly sprinkled with with flour to prevent sticking. Roll dough out thinly, about 1/8" thick, then slice into strips, each about 2 inches in length. Gently drop the dumplings into the simmering chicken broth. Stir them gently to prevent sticking. Add chicken, pepper and butter and simmer for another 10 minutes or so before serving.


  1. Are the dumplings hard to make? My kids have been wanting chicken and dumplings but I didn't have a good recipe.

  2. Mmmm... sounds delicious!

    I prefer the rolled dumplings over the drop kind as well. Now if we can just get some cooler weather to go with the chicken and dumplings...


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