Chicken and Dumplings

Whenever I think of chicken and dumpling soup, I think of a round and rosy-cheeked grandmother wearing a big white apron and a permanent smile. It must be the simmering chicken broth that makes me think of warm kitchens. Broth rolling with bubbles of carrots, celery, onion and garlic with thick shreds of chicken all under spoonfuls of dough bobbing on top.

Not to be obnoxious, but this was the most home-made of any soup I’ve created. But it doesn’t have to be. You don’t have to use chicken and potatoes from a lemon-garlic roast bird you made earlier in the week, or use chicken stock made from roasted chicken bones. But we both know it’s better when you’ve invested the time, and love, into the dish.

I jazzed up my broth with cinnamon, nutmeg and citrus. I know it sounds weird, but those additions give it a unique warmth. My mom actually gave me the dumpling recipe, which uses buttermilk (something I had left over in the fridge), so they were extra soft and tangy.

I highly recommend this soup on a cold day – better than regular old chicken noodle.

Chicken and Dumplings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 c. chopped celery hearts
  • 1/3 c. chopped peeled carrots
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 qt. (2 boxes) chicken stock you’ve made with lemon, parsley, thyme and bay (or use the boxed variety and add the aromatics to the stock as it simmers)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 grates fresh nutmeg
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1-2 c. shredded chicken (or 1 lb. raw chicken)
  • EVOO
  • S&P
  • Handful cilantro, chopped

Heat 1 T of EVOO in soup pot over medium until hot. Add celery, carrots, onion and garlic. Stir 4-5 min. Add chicken stock and bring to a simmer (this is where you’d add the aromatics if you didn’t make your own stock). Add the shredded chicken, cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon and reduce to simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, make dumplings:

Mix 1 c. flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt in a medium bowl. Cut in 2 T chilled butter (I actually forgot this step but it was still good – go figure!) until it looks like coarse meal. Add 1/2 c. buttermilk and mix until wet ball comes together ( I just used a wooden spoon), adding a dash more buttermilk, if needed.

Drop dough into soup by rounded tablespoons. Simmer uncovered 10 min., then cover and simmer 10 more minutes. Meanwhile, stir 3 T flour into 1/4 c. milk until smooth. When dumplings are done, whisk in milk/flour mixture until broth thickens, about 1 min.

Spoon into bowls and top with chopped cilantro.

Yum! Does’t it look kind of like matzo ball soup?

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

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4 responses to “Chicken and Dumplings

  1. This is what I thought I was ordering at the Cracker Barrel in Kansas. What I got was the blah-looking, blah-tasting gravy grossness. Thank you for proving my memory of chicken and dumplings was not wrong.

  2. Heidi, you experienced what most Southerners consider chicken and dumplings. A thick, white gravy made with lots of things you don’t want to know about. :)

  3. When done right, that “thick white gravy” can be delicate and delicious!

  4. this looks sooo delicious! and it is made out of such simple, always around the house ingredients! i can’t wait to try it!

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