My Favorite Chicken and Dumplings

chicken and dumplingsThis dish is on my top ten most crave-able food list as well as being one of my cousin, Hiep’s favorites.  His last response to my texting him a photo of the pot of chicken and dumplings I had stewing, “So, are you going to share the dumpling recipe or continue to torture me?” Alright! Alright! Here you go, Hiep.

I’ve experimented with several renditions of this classic over the years. The recipe below is by far my favorite one. This take elevates the standard boring chicken, gravy with oftentimes too gooey dough that passes as chicken and dumplings. It’s based on Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc Chicken and Dumplings Soup. I’ve changed the the proportions of the ingredients so that it has a thick gravy rather than a soup base and is heartier overall, but retained the flavors. Why mess too much with a master’s recipe?

I usually roast a large organic chicken in the morning, serve the legs for lunch and save the rest for this recipe. The best, easiest and most versatile roast chicken recipe is the Thomas Keller one posted here. Do use the best chicken stock you can get if you’re not going to make it yourself. I like Pacific Organic and surprisingly the Costco Kirkland Organic Chicken Stock is good. Also, I’d keep Wondra flour on hand in case you like your gravy even thicker than I do and extra stock in case the opposite is true.

My Favorite Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken
Shredded meat from one medium roasted chicken, homemade or store-bought.
Reserve bones and skin for gravy.

Gravy
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
1 cup coarsely chopped celery
1 cup coarsely chopped onion
1 cup coarsely chopped leeks
6 whole peppercorn
2 sprigs of thyme
2 Qt. (64 oz.) of good quality chicken stock
Reserved bones and skin from roasted chicken
10 Tbsp. butter
10 Tbsp. All purpose flour
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
Champagne vinegar
1/4 cup of thinly sliced fresh chives

Dumplings
1 cup water
8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. kosher salt
1 1/3 cup all-purpose fl our
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
4 large eggs
2 heaping Tbsp. thinly sliced chives

Vegetables
8 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
8 large carrots, peeled and cut into even bite-sized pieces
2 teaspoon honey
1 bay leaf
2 thyme sprigs
1 large garlic clove, crushed, skin on
6 black peppercorn
kosher salt

chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves to garnish

Gravy instructions

  1. In large pot, melt 1 Tbsp. butter over medium heat
  2. Add celery, carrots, onions and leeks and season with a little salt and fresh cracked pepper
  3. Lower heat, cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally or until vegetables are softened
  4. Add stock, peppercorn, thyme, chicken skin and bones and bring to a simmer
  5. Cover and let simmer over low heat for 30 minutes
  6. Strain broth through a sieve into a heat safe dish, pushing on solids to get all the juices out
  7. Discard solids and set broth aside
  8. In your largest pot (this is where you’ll be combining your chicken, vegetables, dumplings and gravy), melt 10 Tbsp. of butter
  9. Add flour and cook over medium heat stirring the whole time until a you get a medium brown roux
  10. Whisk in stock and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to thicken gravy, stirring occasionally
  11. Season while thickening with about 1 Tbsp. of Champagne vinegar, salt and fresh crack pepper to taste
  12. Optional- whisk in Wondra a little bit at a time for a thicker stock or broth to thin according to taste
  13. Take off heat, stir in chives and set aside

Dumplings instructions

  1. In medium saucepan, bring water, butter and salt to a simmer
  2. Add in flour all at once stirring vigorously to incorporate. A thick dough will form
  3. Cook over medium-low heat for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring dough the whole time. A thin layer of dough will form in pan, this is normal
  4. Immediately move dough ball to a mixer bowl with a paddle attachment
  5. Mix on medium-high for 3 minutes to cool down dough
  6. Reduce speed to low and add one egg at a time, incorporating each egg completely before adding the next one
  7. Add mustard and chive and mix to combine
  8. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper
  9. In a large pot bring generously salted water to a strong simmer
  10. Using two soup spoons shape dough into quenelle shape (this instructional video comes in handy) and drop into simmering water
  11. Without crowding the pot with too many dumplings, simmer dough 5 minutes per batch to cook dough through
  12. With a slotted spoon, remove quenelles and let cool on parchment paper
  13. With a pair of scissors, trim any rough edges off dumplings
  14. Cover and set aside

Vegetable instructions

  1. In medium saucepan, bring salted water to a simmer
  2. Stir in celery and cook for 2 minutes or celery is al dente
  3. Strain through a sieve and rinse with cold water and set aside
  4. In medium pot filled halfway with cold water, salt generously and add carrots, honey, bay, thyme and peppercorns and bring to a simmer
  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes until carrots are cooked but still a little firm
  6. Drain water, discard bay, thyme and peppercorn and set aside

Serving

  1. Add chicken, dumplings, carrots and celery to gravy pot and bring to a low simmer and let cook for a few minutes to reheat
  2. Serve garnished with Italian parsley

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