As a kid growing up, one of my favorite comfort food dinners was chicken and dumplings. My mom made it at least once a year, almost always during cooler weather. And she always made the dumplings from Bisquick. I’m not sure if my mom actually has her own recipe for this, or if she uses the Bisquick recipe. All I remember is…it was good! But I don’t think mom makes it all that often anymore.
I got a craving for this dish big time earlier this year during one of our cold spells. When I found out that Jeff had never experienced the joys of homemade chicken and dumplings on a cold evening, and that Valentine’s Day fell on a weekend, I decided to make it for dinner that Sunday so that it could simmer all day after church.
But I wanted to try making everything from scratch, including the dumplings. So I spent some time exploring recipes, and decided on this excellent one from Emeril Lagasse.
The chicken and dumplings turned out absolutely fabulous. Really the best I’ve ever had, especially the wonderfully fluffy flavorful dumplings. And Jeff loved it too. So, when fall and winter roll around again, I think I am going to have to treat my mom to a bowl of my own wonderful chicken and dumplings (courtesy of Emeril).
- 1 large roasting chicken, about 5 pounds, back removed and cut into 8 pieces
- 2 sweet onions, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, coarsely chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth or water
- 2 bay leaves
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup minced fresh soft herbs, such as parsley, tarragon, and green onion tops
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons milk
- 7 tablespoons butter
- 10 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons Essence, recipe follows
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3 ribs celery, cut into ½-inch pieces on the diagonal
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- ¼ cup heavy cream or milk
- ½ cup frozen green peas, thawed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 2½ tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- Combine all ingredients thoroughly.
- Yield: ⅔ cup
- Cut chicken backs, necks and wing tips into 1-inch pieces. In a large pot, combine the chicken pieces, onions, chicken broth or water, bay leaves and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the chicken is tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside. Discard the chicken backs, necks, and wing tips. When the chicken pieces have cooled, remove the meat from the bones in chunks and set aside. Discard the skin and bones. Strain the broth and discard solids. Using a spoon, skim the fat from the surface of the broth and discard fat. Set broth aside.
- Prepare the dumplings: In a medium bowl, mix the flour, herbs, baking powder, and salt together. In a small saucepan over low heat, bring the butter and milk to a simmer. Add the butter and milk mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring with a fork until the mixture just comes together. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, stirring, until golden-brown, 3 to 4 minutes. When golden brown, whisk in the wine, reserved chicken broth, Essence, and thyme. Cook until sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes, then add the celery, carrots, and onion. Cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 15 minutes. Add the reserved chicken meat, heavy cream or milk, and peas. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Place the dumplings on top of the chicken mixture. Cover and simmer until the dumplings are cooked through, about 15 minutes. Serve in large soup bowls, garnished with the parsley.