Chicken and dumplings is, hands down, my favorite dish of all time! It's simple, warm, comforting, and hearty. Having a bowl of chicken and dumplings is like a warm hug from grandma. It just melts away the troubles of the day.
When I was younger, my mother would make chicken and dumplings, and it was delicious! Whenever she didn't make it, I would ask my grandma, and she would always cook up a pot of her yummy chicken and dumplings. I loved both versions, but my mom tended to make the soupier version, while my grandmother would make the thicker soup with more flour in it. I was always partial to the thicker version and it's comforting creaminess, although there is actually no cream or milk in it. If I am not mistaken, they both used cream of celery or cream of chicken for their base. I know for sure that my mom does. However, in the interest of cutting sodium and preservatives, I say try making the thick soup base yourself. It takes no time, and you know exactly what's in it.
Due to having to be on a gluten-free diet, I went without this dish for two years. After much trial and error, my mom finally came up with this trick for getting cornstarch to create results much like those of a flour roux. It works great, and I was finally able to have chicken and dumplings just like my mom and grandmother used to make again!
While both my mom and my grandma used a fresh whole chicken, this version uses a rotisserie chicken to save time. With this small adjustment, you can have chicken and dumplings for an easy weeknight meal, and it will be ready in a flash! To adapt this recipe for a fresh chicken, just cut the chicken into pieces (I would also remove the skin) and cook until it is falling off the bone. I hope you fall in love with this delicious classic soup, just like I did.
All dark meat of a medium rotisserie chicken, pulled in medium chunks (by hand, simple and rustic, remove skin)
6 c homemade chicken or turkey stock
½ onion, diced
2-3 stalks celery, cubed
Two carrots, sliced into 1/4" rounds
1/3c – 1/2c frozen green peas, thawed
1 stalk fresh thyme
Trader Joe's 21 seasoning salute to taste
Salt to tastes
Generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper (fresh is ideal)
1 TB butter (for finishing)
2 cups water
about 3 TB cornstarch (can skip this and simply whisk 2 TB flour into a cup of soup broth and whisk in before adding back to soup for traditional recipe)
2 c flour (sub with gluten-free AP flour mix for gluten-free)
1 TB baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TB butter
1 c milk
1. 1. Add chicken chunks, celery, thyme, and onion to stock, cover, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Allow to continue cooking.
2. Meanwhile, begin the slurry by whisking cornstarch into water and bringing to medium heat in a small pot. Season with salt and pepper and whisk constantly, until thickened.
3. Once thick enough, stir in a few ladles of broth until homogeneous and add to soup.
4. Prepare dumplings by stirring together all dry ingredients and cutting in butter with a pastry blender to form a coarse sand.
5. Form a well, pour in milk, and gradually blend in flour until well blended. On a floured surfaced, knead until smooth, uniform dough forms. Will be slightly sticky.
6. Roll dough out to about ¼” thickness and slice into strips about 1.5” – 2” wide and 2-3” long.
7. Add carrots to soup and stir in dumplings. Adjust salt and pepper.
8. Cook covered for about 15 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
9. Stir in thawed peas and cook for 5 minutes more.
10. Stir in butter, adjust seasoning, and serve.