Southern Chicken and Dumplings

There are as many variations of Chicken and Dumplings as there are in chili, gumbo or a basic chicken soup. What makes mine Southern are the dumplings.  I tested out a variety of ways to make dumplings, but in this case I choose Ree Drummond’s (The Pioneer Woman) recipe.  I like it because it includes a bit of corn meal. The corn meal gives the dumplings a slight chew.  It keeps the dumplings from having a gluey, flour texture. As long as you don’t overwork the dough, they turn out light and fluffy.

Of course if you are really short on time, you can purchase a can of biscuit dough.  On a floured surface, roll the biscuits out slightly and cut them into strips.  But homemade dumplings only have 4 or 5 ingredients that you can stir together in about two or three minutes.  So I’m not sure why you wouldn’t want to take that extra step?

The chicken stew is a recipe I created a long time ago when my sons were little.  It uses readily available ingredients.  Nothing too exotic so it will appeal to the palates of youngsters and oldsters.  In a previous post I showed how to roast up a few chickens so that you can have tender and juicy meat to shred for a dish like this.  However, if  you are super short on time, pick up a roasted chicken from the deli department at your supermarket.

This homey, flavorful dish is perfect for a casual Sunday Supper.  A whole meal in a bowl!

Southern Chicken and Dumplings

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2  Tablespoons oil
  • 1  cup carrots, sliced 1/2 inch thick
  • 1  cup celery, sliced 1/2 inch think
  • 1  large onion, diced
  • 1  teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2  teaspoon dried whole leaf sage
  • 1/2  teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • 2  teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2  teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 12  ounce jar chicken gravy
  • 6  cups chicken stock
  • 4  cups shredded, cooked chicken (amount produced from one 3 pound roasting hen)
Roasted a couple of chickens. Removed skin. Shredded meat and had it ready to use in a few different dishes. If you’ve got a couple of lazy hours on the weekend, you can easily do this and have it ready for the week.

Directions

  1. Heat oil on medium in a large stock pot.
  2. Add carrots, celery and onion.  Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occaisionally.
  3. Add thyme, sage, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper.  Stir until their fragrance is released.
  4. Add jar of gravy, chicken stock and shredded chicken.
  5. Bring stew to boil.  Cover pot and reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Taste stew and add additional salt and pepper if needed.
  7. Carefully slide spoonfuls of dumpling* mixture into simmering stew.
  8. Cover pot with lid and cook for an additional 15 minutes.
  9. Check a dumpling to make sure they are cooked through.
  10. Remove from heat and ladle into soup bowls.

*Ree Drummond’s Dumplings

  • 1.5  cups all-purpose flour
  • .5    cups yellow corn meal
  • 1     heaping tablespoon baking powder
  • 1.5  cups half and half
  • 1    teaspoon kosher salt

In a medium bowl, combine all dumpling ingredients by stirring gently.  Mixture will seem very wet at first.  Give it a few minutes and it will firm up as it sets.  Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, gently place dumplings in simmering chicken stew.  Cover pot with lid and cook on low for 15 minutes.

 

 

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