Recipe for soul-warming chicken and dumplings. Stick to your ribs, comfort food.
My grandmother was famous for her chicken and dumplings, at least I always believed she was. Then I grew up and realized that everyone’s grandma, mom, aunt, sister, and/or cousin had one.
Unfortunately, there was no recipe for these. My grandmother would just toss things into a bowl and whip them up.
These are not the soft fluffy biscuit type dumplings. I have heard them called chicken and sliders and also chicken and noodles when made by others. Pre-internet days before I knew “everyone” had a version and I could simply search for a recipe, I spent years trying to make them like my grandma.
My mom’s best friend’s mother spent an afternoon with me once and showed me how she made hers. Her chicken and dumplings were just like my grandma’s! You would think I would have written down quantities, but nope. I was certain I could manage.
The first time I made them her way, they were moon rocks. They were a little flavorless too and the broth base needed help. I went back to the drawing board and tried again, and again, and again.
This Chicken and Dumpling recipe is the one that I use now. I feel it makes a decent dumpling, slider, noodle or whatever it is your family calls them.
If you like a lot of gravy/broth, then you will want to increase the amounts used in this recipe. The dumplings will absorb a whole lot of liquid. The longer you allow these to simmer, the softer they will get.
I do need to warn you though, if you let them sit for too long with the heat even the slightest bit too hot, they will scorch and stick to the bottom of the pan. Scorched dumplings will affect the flavor of the entire pan, and not for the better. Ask me how I know……..
It is best to test a dumpling every 10 minutes or so. The second you are happy with them, turn off the heat, and set them aside. Put a lid on it and they will stay warm for a few hours.
I think these taste the best the day they are made. Leftovers tend to fall apart when I try to reheat them.
But, it is possible to re-heat them, just don’t expect the same silkiness they had the day they were made though. That ship has sailed.
To reheat leftovers, I find the best way is to put some water in a pan and bring it to a boil, you can also use chicken broth which will give more flavor. Once it is boiling, reduce the heat to simmer and put your dumplings in the pan.
It is best to gently separate the dumplings with a wooden spoon. Be very gentle with the whole thing until it is heated through. The dumplings absorbed more liquid as they cooled and are now more likely to fall apart. It will taste good, but they will not be as pretty as the first day.
This makes a lot, I never learned how to make this for anything less than a small army! Feel free to cut this recipe in half.
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Chicken and Dumplings
- 6 chicken breasts with bones and skin can substitute 1 or 2 whole chickens
- 12 cups chicken broth
- Chicken base to taste
- 6 stalks celery leafy parts too, cut into big pieces
- 1 large onion quartered
- ¼ to ½ cup dried parsley or one bunch of fresh parsley
- 8 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling out dumplings
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup rendered chicken fat or butter if your chicken does not produce much fat
- 1 cup milk
- 6 eggs beaten
- Put chicken breasts, chicken broth, chicken base, celery, onion, and dried parsley into a pot and add enough water to completely cover the chicken. Bring it to a boil, then turn it down and simmer for about 2 hours. Skim any fat off the top as it comes up and reserve for later. If using a cooked rotisseries chicken, remove bones and skin and add to the pot, but reserve meat for later.
- Strain the broth and return it to the pot. If it is too salty, add water. If it is too weak, you can simmer it down more or add more chicken base.
- If the chicken had little fat on the top, add about 1/2 stick of butter to the fat. You want about 8 tablespoons of fat and/or butter. Add milk and beaten eggs.
- Place 8 cups of flour into a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center, add the egg mixture, and stir. If it seems too dry, add some broth from the pan. If it seems too wet, add flour a little at a time. It should be a little sticky. Sprinkle countertop with flour, place dough on counter, and add a little extra flour on top. Roll dough to ¼-inch thickness. Cut dumplings.
- Bring the broth back to boil, drop in the dumplings one at a time so they don’t stick to each other. Boil together for 5 to 10 minutes and stir often so they don’t stick to the bottom and burn. Then, put a lid on them and turn the heat off. Let them sit for about an hour.