There’s something so classic about chicken and dumplings. It’s a dish that’s been around forever – hearty, satisfying, and it makes your kitchen smell so good. Make yours with a chicken from your local farmer for a super local (and delicious) dinner.
Start with a whole chicken. Rinse it and cut it into six pieces (here’s how to break down a chicken, from a blog post a little while back).
Making the Broth Dice a large onion and 2 celery stalks. Saute them over medium heat in a large dutch oven until the onions are translucent. Add 6 crushed garlic cloves and the chicken pieces and brown them too, rotating them and cooking for about five minutes. Pour a cup of dry white wine in to deglaze the pot, stirring up the more cooked bits.
Now add 8 cups of water, pinch of saffron, 4 whole cloves, 1 T dried thyme, 2 T black peppercorns and 4 bay leaves. Turn the heat up, bring to a boil, and then turn to a simmer and let it cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until the meat is falling off the bones.
Drain (keeping all the chicken stock), and separate out all the meat from the bone, keeping the meat and discarding the bones and skin. Also toss the peppercorns and spices.
In the same pot, melt 1/3 cup butter over low heat. Once it’s melted, gradually whisk in 1/2 cup of flour to create a roux. When it’s thoroughly blended, cook until it’s golden (about 5-10 minutes), stirring to keep it from scorching.
Meanwhile, back at your pot of reserved chicken stock, skim the fat off with a spoon. Then whisk the stock into the flour-butter mixture, whisking between additions to avoid clumps. We added 1 to 2 cups at a time until the whole thing was mixed together. Cook at a low simmer until the mixture thickens – about another 5 to 10 minutes.
Into the soup, add 1 cup chopped white onion, 2 chopped carrots cut into rounds, 4 cups shelled peas (we used frozen peas), and salt and pepper. Cook at a low simmer and go make the dumplings.
Making the Dumplings In a large bowl, mix 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1/2 T baking powder, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 cup minced onion, 2 tsp fresh chopped sage and 2 T chopped fresh parsley. Mix thoroughly and then add 1/2 cup of milk.
Over the simmering pot, use a tablespoon to help make little dollops of dumpling to add to the pot. Be sure to give the dumplings lots of space (if they’re crowded at all as they grow, they’ll be soggy and gross).
Cover the pot and let the dumplings cook until they’re puffy and cooked through – about 15 to 20 minutes.
- 1 roasting chicken, 4 or 5 pounds, cut into six pieces
- 1 coarsely chopped onion
- 2 celery stalks
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 4 bay leaves
- 2 T black peppercorn
- 1 T dried thyme
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 pinch of saffron
- 8 cups of water, divided
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup chopped white onion
- 2 carrots, cut into rounds
- 4 cups shelled peas (we used frozen)
- salt and pepper
- chopped fresh parsley (garnish)
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 T baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 cup minced onion
- 2 tsp chopped fresh sage
- 2 T chopped fresh parsley
- 1/2 cup milk