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Thursday, January 11, 2024

Chicken and Dumplings Soup

Come and read the tale of Chicken and Dumplings Soup, just how easy it is to make, and about using stovetop pressure cookers! Oh, and you are going to love this soup...



Chicken and Dumplings are everywhere in East Texas. 

If there is one dish that is as varied in preparation style as much as it is served, it would be Chicken and Dumplings. No two cooks make it the same, and no one expects anyone to do so. Many restaurants have it on the menu and it is as different as can be from the same named dish, in the restaurant down the road. Everyone eats it and no one expects Chicken and Dumplings to be anything other than what is brought to you from the kitchen, whether at home or out to eat. 

This is a different dish of dumplings than I grew up on. 

Personally I have had Chicken and Dumplings several times while dining out, at two different restaurants and one café. Yes, one was better than the others, but they were all classically made Chicken and Dumplings. Chicken, thickened broth and cut dumplings. Cut dumplings are the key, here in East Texas they are not drop dumplings, like the big fluffy kind my Mom would make when I was a kid. And the meal does not contain a lot of meat. This is a frugal dish, to say the least. And yet, Chicken and Dumplings is satisfying and comforting. And maybe that is the key to their popularity, they are pure comfort food!

Some cooks add carrot, celery and onion. Others do not. Some cooks will throw in a bay leaf or two. Others do not. Some cooks use breast meat only. Others do not. Some cooks roll and cut the dumpling dough into neat squares. Others do not. Some cooks use skin on, bone in chicken pieces. Others do not. The variations found reflect busy cooks, frugal cooks, tired cooks, and traditional cooks. Since it was made that way before, it will always be made that way. 

Not often, but we had Chicken and Dumplings in my childhood home. 

For Chicken and Dumplings in my childhood home. Mom would buy a stewing hen. It was simmered in water to make plain stock, when done the hen was removed to cool. The stock was set aside until needed. Skin and bones were removed and discarded. The meat was cut into bite sized pieces. For dumplings Bisquick was used to make the dough from the recipe on the box. The broth was brought back to a boil, the meat returned to the pot. The dumpling dough dropped into about 8 dumplings, over the top of the simmering pot. The heat was reduced and the lid put back on. A timer was set for 12 or so minutes and then the dumplings were tested "done" with a toothpick. And dinner was served. 

Now, it was time for me to give it a go!

When I look back on the Chicken and Dumpling meals I have enjoyed out, and I have enjoyed them all! I knew that when I cooked Chicken and Dumplings for the first time, it would be a bit different than what I had enjoyed. I knew I would want more flavor in the broth and lots more vegetables. At least a serving of vegetables, for each person. Along with bay leaf, possibly some thyme. Those thoughts were my blueprint...

This Chicken and Dumplings Soup is delicious, even though it is not traditional in the East Texas tradition of Chicken and Dumplings. But wait, why did I start with Chicken and Dumplings Soup? For the dumplings, of course! I had never made roll and cut dumplings, and I wanted to get them right before I moved on to a Chicken and Dumplings dinner! And honestly, we will be eating a lot of Chicken and Dumplings Soup and Chicken and Dumplings for dinner. Why? Because it is frugal. It is easy. It is delicious, And it is comfort food at it's best!

But this was the surprising part of Chicken and Dumplings Soup

With using my Instant Pot/Electric Pressure Cooker for so many recipes, I had reached a point of familiarity and comfort with pressure cooking. It seemed only natural to pull out the stovetop model for this easy pot of soup!  I won't kid you, this is sort of a big deal for me! If you have viewed any of my pressure cooker recipes you will see, woven through them, a common theme of fear regarding pressure cookers. But it seems that I have (finally?) learned to use and appreciate my Instant Pot and all that it can do to make time in the kitchen easier. Soup as it turns out, is a very good "first try" recipe for anyone wanting to master that appliance once and for all!  Whether it is electric or stovetop.


Ingredients needed for this recipe:
  • chicken, cut and amount of meat, your choice
  • chicken stock
  • celery
  • onion
  • carrots
  • garlic
  • bay leaf
  • salt 
  • fresh ground pepper
  • Whole Wheat Self-Rising flour
  • additional whole wheat flour
  • butter
  • egg
  • milk
You will also need the following;
  • pressure cooker, electric or stovetop
  • kitchen knife
  • cutting board
  • vegetable peeler
  • measuring cups
  • pancake turner or thin spatula
  • medium sized mixing bowl
Now we are ready to begin!


Additional thoughts on this recipe:

This recipe works best with a stove top model for cooking the dumplings. Because the dumplings are not cooked under pressure! 

Don't aske me how I know this...

While I have not tried this, you might be able to cook the dumplings using the "sauté" feature...

You could prep and cook the soup base the day before, chill overnight and cook the dumplings the next day using a stockpot on the stove. 





Chicken and Dumplings Soup
by the seat of my pants
stovetop pressure cooker suggested

Soup:
chicken, we used 2 very large chicken thighs
1 c diced onion
2 ribs of celery
4 carrots
1 T minced garlic
2 bay leaves
4 c strong chicken stock or broth. We used better than bouillon...

Dumplings:
1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Self-Rising Flour
1 egg
2 T melted butter
1/4 c milk


To make the soup base:

Using the cutting board, mince the garlic and set aside. Wash dry and dice the celery, set aside. Peel the slice the carrots, set aside. Dice the onion. 



Place the whole thigh chicken pieces into the pressure cooker, and add all of the prepared soup vegetables along with the bay leaves, stock and salt and pepper to taste. 

For electric and stovetop models, bring the pressure cooker up to pressure, cook for 12 minutes. For stovetop remove from heat and let sit NPR for 10 minutes. For electric pressure cooker, let rest NPR for 10 minutes.

Release pressure, carefully open the pot. Remove the chicken thighs and let cool while preparing the dough for dumplings.

Make the dough


Melt the butter and let cool. Pour the milk into a measuring cup, add the egg and beat together. 

Place the Whole Wheat Self-Rising Flour into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the cooled and melted butter along with the milk egg mixture. 

Mix together until a ball of dough forms in the bowl. If needed more milk can be used, but add it sparingly, the dough needs to have a firm texture. 



Dust the countertop or a large cutting board with flour, place dough onto the flour, turn over to coat the other side. 

Using your hand, pat the dough out to a thin round. Between 1/2 to 1/4 inches thick. Use a knife to cut into small bite sized squares.

Use a thin pancake turner to loosen (this dough can be sticky) from the cutting board. Gently mix them with any remaining four on the board so they will not clump together while cooking. 

To cook:



Bring the stock to a boil, slide the cut dumplings into the stock, stir gently to separate the dumplings. 

When the stock returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and let simmer until the dumplings are cooked and floating on the top of the stock. 

While the dumplings are cooking, dice the chicken meat. Return to the pan, Chicken and Dumplings Soup is ready to serve!



Storage options for Chicken and Dumplings Soup. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat on the stove or microwave to serve. I do not recommend freezing this dish. 

UPDATE:  For your convenience, a "copy and paste" version of Chicken and Dumplings Soup has been included below. 


You may also enjoy: 



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Printable "copy and paste" version:



Chicken and Dumplings Soup
by the seat of my pants

Soup:
chicken, we used 2 very large chicken thighs
1 c diced onion
2 ribs of celery
4 carrots
1 T minced garlic
2 bay leaves
4 c strong chicken stock or broth. We used better than bouillon...

Dumplings:
1 1/2 c Whole Wheat Self-Rising Flour
1 egg
2 T melted butter
1/4 c milk


To make the soup base:

Using the cutting board, mince the garlic and set aside. Wash dry and dice the celery, set aside. Peel the slice the carrots, set aside. Dice the onion. 

Place the whole thigh chicken pieces into the pressure cooker, and add all of the prepared soup vegetables along with the bay leaves, stock and salt and pepper to taste. 

For electric and stovetop models, bring the pressure cooker up to pressure, cook for 12 minutes. For stovetop remove from heat and let sit NPR for 10 minutes. For electric pressure cooker, let rest NPR for 10 minutes.

Release pressure, carefully open the pot. Remove the chicken thighs and let cool while preparing the dough for dumplings.

Make the dough

Melt the butter and let cool. Pour the milk into a measuring cup, add the egg and beat together. 

Place the Whole Wheat Self-Rising Flour into a medium sized mixing bowl. Add the cooled and melted butter along with the milk egg mixture. 

Mix together until a ball of dough forms in the bowl. If needed more milk can be used, but add it sparingly, the dough needs to have a firm texture. 

Dust the countertop or a large cutting board with flour, place dough onto the flour, turn over to coat the other side. 

Using your hand, pat the dough out to a thin round. Between 1/2 to 1/4 inches thick. Use a knife to cut into small bite sized squares.

Use a thin pancake turner to loosen (this dough can be sticky) from the cutting board. Gently mix them with any remaining four on the board so they will not clump together while cooking. 

To cook:

Bring the stock to a boil, slide the cut dumplings into the stock, stir gently to separate the dumplings. 

When the stock returns to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan and let simmer until the dumplings are cooked and floating on the top of the stock. 

While the dumplings are cooking, dice the chicken meat. Return to the pan, Chicken and Dumplings Soup is ready to serve!

Storage options for Chicken and Dumplings Soup. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat on the stove or microwave to serve. I do not recommend freezing this dis

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Sounds like a really comforting meal in one pot! My mom never made this type of recipe but it was interesting to read the background on the dish!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judee I had no idea how deep the tradition of chicken and dumplings ran! In my childhood home is was just a way to use up an inexpensive "stewing" hen, which I don't even think you can find one now days much less purchase one! But here they are second nature to every table and every cook. Thanks for stopping by, have a great week ahead.

      Delete
  2. I love chicken and dumplings! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Hope your week is starting great!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Helen, as always it is always fun to share with your readers! Thank you for hosting and have a great week ahead.

      Delete

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