I shamelessly announced on Facebook yesterday that I make the best chicken and dumplings ever, and I was immediately asked by a few people to share the recipe. I figured I’d go ahead and share it with y’all because, well, I needed to post. Before I get into all of that, let me tell y’all first about what an amazing time I had turning 40 this past weekend.
Guitar Dude took me to a hot tub cabin near Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia. For those of y’all that don’t know Helen, it’s a little town nestled in the mountains that has a Bavarian theme to it. When Guitar Dude and I met, we spent a lot of time in Helen and for that reason, it has a very special place in my heart. It rained almost the whole time we were there, but the hot tub was on a screened in porch so the weather didn’t make a bit of difference to us. We soaked away the minutes in the hot tub debating who was going to get the next beer (boy did I ever milk the whole “But it’s my birthday……….” thing!) and occasionally got out to eat some decadent food or run into town or both. The night of my actual birthday, we headed into town for some German food. I just felt like I needed some schitzel, yahear’d? I had pork schnitzel in my mind, but once we got to the Old Bavaria Inn I decided I was going to try veal for the very first time in my life so I got the wiener schnitzel (which, by the way, is not a wiener, schnitzel or otherwise). Oh my goodness, I have no idea how I lived this long without eating veal. It was sooooooo good, as was the spatzle. I think I could eat my weight in schnitzel and spatzle. It’s the German in me. Plus they’re just fun to say. I decided somewhere between the first beer on Friday night and our final soak in the hot tub Sunday morning that turning 40 is a’ight by me. So all y’all out there fixin’ to turn 40, I’m here to tell you it ain’t so bad! In fact, I kind of dig it.
OK, so…. on to….
Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless (trimmed) chicken breasts
Approx. 8 ounces of low-sodium chicken broth
One medium sweet onion, diced
Baby carrots (I used about a half a bag.)
2 tsp minced garlic
Black pepper, garlic powder and thyme, to taste
Put whole chicken breasts into a 5-quart pot with the chicken broth, diced onion, garlic, and baby carrots. I don’t cut my carrots up because they get tender enough as it is. Fill pot with water to within a couple inches of the top, add the first round of black pepper, garlic powder and thyme. Cook on medium high for two hours. Pull the chicken out, shred it, and add it back into the pot. Return to a high boil (with lid) in preparation for the dumplings.
Dumplings: (I use my biscuit recipe, which I’ve perfected since posting it on here a long time ago, plus some “extree” stuff.)
2 cups all-purpose flour (White Lily)
3 tsp baking powder (Clabber Girl)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup (lactose free) butter
1 cup (lactose free) fat free milk
Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. I use a wire whisk to make sure it’s kind of sifted and well combined. Add in the chopped chives and garlic to taste. If I had to guess how much I use, I’d say a sh*tload, but use whatever suits your fancy. Don’t skip either, though, because they give the dumplings an awesome taste. Stir that around, and then cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a crumbly mess. Then stir in your milk, being careful not to overwork the dough. Once it’s just barely combined, take the lid off your soup pot and drop the dough in one heaping tablespoon at a time. The dough will sink initially but should rise back up to the top pretty quickly. Once all the dough has been dropped into the pot, replace the lid and leave it cooking at a high boil for about 30 minutes. The dumplings will be soft on the outside, but nice and fluffy on the inside.
I know this isn’t an exact recipe, as with a lot of other stuff I cook, but this is a good guide to making a killer pot of chicken and dumplings. The measurements for the dumplings, other than the chives and garlic powder, should be followed exactly. The soup will seem watery before you add the dumplings, but the flour in the dumplings will thicken it up and make it a nice and creamy, steamy bowl of goodness.
And with that, it’s lunchtime! Bring on the leftovers…