Nothing says lovin' like Chicken and Dumplings. I don't know that anything screams comfort more than this. Except for maybe chicken noodle soup. But it always comes back to the chicken, don't it? Many of you grew up on this style of Chicken and Dumplings. It is the most basic, simple, but tummy-lovin' stuff you ever did put in your mouth. The ingredients are simple; chicken, chicken stock, and a simple dumplin' dough. That's it. For those of you who haven't eaten this style of Chicken and Dumplings growing up then you may have eaten it at a place like Cracker Barrel. It's a humble dish for sure, but I think that is what makes it good. We're going back to basics here today on The Country Cook.
3 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
2 quarts chicken broth
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. salted butter, cubed
milk (a little less than a cupful)
First thing you need to do is to cook your chicken. You can use a store bought rotisserie chicken for this if you like. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle a little olive oil on the chicken and season with salt and pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes.
Some folks like dark meat with their dumplings, some like a combination of white and dark. Chicken thighs would work great for this as well. Go with whatever you like here. I had two large chicken breasts so I used those.
Once the chicken is cooked, shred it with two forks. Or, you can put it into a stand mixer and have it do the work for you.
Look how easy and perfectly shredded. Just don't leave it on too long or you'll have minced chicken.
Pour 2 quarts of chicken stock or broth into a large pot and start warming it up on the stovetop while you make the dumplings.
In a medium bowl, combine flour and baking powder. Then add in cubed butter.
You can combine it all using a fork or a pastry cutter. But the best way is really with your fingers. Just smoosh the butter between your fingers while you gradually mix it in with the flour mixture.
Now pour in the milk. You want to measure out a little less than a cup.
Mix it all together.
Dust your counter with a generous amount of flour. Place your dumpling dough on the counter and dust it with more flour.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 1/4" thickness. Be sure to add flour as necessary to keep it from sticking underneath or to your rolling pin.
Using a knife or a pizza cutter, start cutting out your dumplings into squares. They don't need to be perfectly shaped. Remember, this dish is rustic and homemade so it should look like it.
Dust your dumplings with a bit more flour. The extra flour is all gonna help keep them from sticking but will also thicken your chicken broth some as well when you add them to the pot.
Bring your chicken broth up to a boil. Add in your shredded chicken and stir. Begin adding dumplings one at a time so they don't all stick together. Stir frequently while adding them.
Allow dumplings to cook for about 15-20 minutes. You should notice your broth starting to thicken (from the extra flour) and your dumplings may start to sink a little to the bottom because they are soaking up the broth. Take one out and taste test it. It shouldn't have a doughy taste anymore.
Mmm. Mmm. Mmm. Happiness in a bowl.
For those of you who prefer a fluffier dumpling, you may want to try this recipe~