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Retro Recipe Redux-Chicken And Dumplings

Chicken And Dumplings

Chicken And Dumplings

Retro recipes fascinate me and this is one I have been meaning to re-create. Honestly, I never had it growing up but had heard about it and always thought it sounded delicious. When Food52 announced the latest contest, Your Best Cheap Feast, I felt this recipe fit perfectly. Chicken and Dumplings was created sometime during the Great Depression and was a great way to feed a family for very little. You basically have a big pot of chicken soup that you drop biscuit dough in and this creates a thick and hearty stew. I updated the dumplings by adding herbs and lemon zest, this gives another layer of flavor. There was leftovers, both the biscuit dough and the stew and I repurposed by making a couple of pot pies, I added some frozen peas, put in a ramekin and covered it with the dough, this was meal number two. The whole meal cost less than $20 and when broken down it’s less than $5 a person. Good food on the cheap!!

Serves 6-8 depending on serving size

The Chicken And Vegetables:

  • 1 whole chicken approx 3-5 lbs
  • 8-10 cups water (If you happen to have stock you can use that instead of water)
  • 2 carrots peeled and sliced into rounds or at an angle
  • 1 large onion chopped into small pieces
  • 2 stalks celery sliced
  • 1 parsnip peeled and sliced into rounds or at an angle
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Wash the chicken and place in pot or dutch oven, pour in water, season and bring to a boil on high, reduce heat to med/high and low boil until chicken is tender, it takes approximately 1-2 hour. Note: If using water I boiled the chicken for about 2 hours so that the broth is tastier.
  2. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool, pour broth into a container. Add a small amount of olive oil to the bottom of the pot, add the onion and saute until they soften, add the celery, carrot and parsnip and saute until the vegetables begin to soften. The onion will be translucent. Add the broth back in the pot and simmer for approximately 30-40 minutes, just until the vegetables are tender.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking in the broth remove the meat from the chicken, remove the skin also and set aside covered and start the biscuit dough.

The Dumplings And Finishing The Dish:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cold vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter (I used salted but unsalted is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon snipped chives
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup milk (whole is preferable but 1 or 2% is fine)
  1. In mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, herbs and lemon zest, cut in the vegetable shortening and butter until it resembles peas. Add the milk and mix just until combined. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface, knead for a minute or two and pat into a disc approximately 1/2 inch thick. I use the smallest biscuit cutter or a cordial glass and cut into small round shapes.
  2. Bring the broth and vegetables to a boil and drop in the dumplings, Don’t over crowd as you don’t want the dumplings to absorb all the liquid (you can always bake the remaining biscuit dough or make pot pies from the leftovers). Boil the dumplings in the broth for approximately 10-15 minutes they will thicken the soup substantially and will partially break down a bit.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the chicken and serve. I like to garnish with chopped parsley.
Chicken and dumpling pot pie

Chicken and dumpling pot pie

32 Comments Post a comment
  1. My mom used to make sooo like this. So warm and comforting. That pot pie looks soo good and I’m loving the flaky crust on top. Those pot pies are such comfort food!! Great recipes!

    March 2, 2013
  2. Thank you, they are so comforting, right? I love old recipes and enjoy trying to put a modern spin without changing the entire recipe. I think you could do a really delicious vegan recipe.

    March 2, 2013
  3. This is my idea of the perfect lazy rainy Sunday night dinner! Yum!

    March 2, 2013
    • Thank you, it’s kind of rainy/snowy cold and this was just perfect. You are so right!

      March 2, 2013
  4. petit4chocolatier #

    Suzanne, this looks so good. I love the dumplings. The last picture made me wish I could lift the spoon up and have a taste! Absolutely delicious 🙂

    March 2, 2013
    • Thanks Judy, it was good, actually surprisingly good without using stock in the soup part. If I wasn’t trying to stay on a budget I probably would have done it a little differently, maybe some wine in the sauce but I wanted to try to produce an inexpensive tasty meal, it worked pretty well. Look forward to your weekend posts!

      March 2, 2013
  5. Suzanne, Both dishes look very appetizing…. and you’ve delivered your challenge well. Are there any leftovers for me. 😀 Fae.

    March 3, 2013
    • Thanks Fae, there is still nothing in my opinion that can hold a candle to Persian food, it’s the ultimate comfort food. I also entered a Persian recipe Qa Meh. (Hope I spelled it correctly.

      March 3, 2013
  6. I love retro recipes and comfort food. This is such a perfect way to relax and enjoy the food after a long day of work. Yes, it would be perfect for the Food 52 Cheap Feast challenge too! 😉 Best of luck in the contest!

    March 3, 2013
  7. My mum used to put dumplings in casseroles (mostly beef) when I was a child. I’ve tried to make them since and they’ve never turned out right – I think I’m going to try to make a wheat-free version of your pot pie though – it looks sooooo tempting. Delicious!

    March 3, 2013
    • I also am dumpling challenged just like I am biscuit challenged. This time I kneaded the dough a bit to develop the gluten and they held together a bit better. Previously my dumplings sort of melted in the broth. Thanks so much and I would look forward to a wheat free version.

      March 3, 2013
  8. You really love Food52 don’t you ? 🙂
    Retro recipes are often the best and most comfortable ones.
    Thanks for sharing these two recipes!

    March 3, 2013
    • Thank you, yes I do love Food52, they constantly challenge to create recipes and I love a challenge. Totally agree about retro recipes, there are some gems out there from years gone by.

      March 3, 2013
  9. Wow it looks delicious !! You always know how to made good and appetizing dish with simple ingredients !! Love it ! Thyme, marjoram, lemon zest… I love it so much and I think these little ingredients make the difference ! Good job girl !!

    March 3, 2013
    • Thank you, the dumplings are great with the herbs and lemon, chicken and dumplings can be a bit on the bland side and those additions are a nice upgrade.

      March 3, 2013
  10. Yum! Wish I had a bowl right now.

    March 3, 2013
  11. What perfect comfort food my friend 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    March 3, 2013
  12. Oh, how I love chicken and dumplings! The recipe I use is very similar. I haven’t gotten around to making it yet this winter – need to do that before it gets too warm! This is perfect for the Food52 contest. Good luck!

    March 3, 2013
    • Thank you, I love this dish but for me the dumplings are a bit challenging. I decided to knead the biscuit dough for a short time to develop the gluten so they stay together. Do you have a problem with the dumplings breaking down when you make it? They held together better this time much better but wondered what your dumpling recipe is.

      March 4, 2013
      • My “recipe” (which I think I found elsewhere on the internet) doesn’t have butter or shortening – I use heavy cream instead of milk to provide all of the fat. It’s 1 C. flour, 1.5 teasoon baking powder, and about 3/4 cup of heavy cream + herbs, salt, lemon zest. I simmer them about 15 minutes, and they break down some, but not too much. They mostly stay together!

        March 7, 2013
      • I love cream biscuits I actually really like that idea and instead of the butter and shortening will use the cream next time. Thank you.

        March 7, 2013
  13. alotonyourplate #

    This looks so delish! I am a HUGE dumpling fan!!

    March 4, 2013
    • Thank you me too, whether it’s this type of dumpling or spaetzle or the delicious Asian dumplings I am a big fan.

      March 4, 2013
  14. Fabulous, Suzanne! Warm, comforting, inexpensive…a real winner! Love the potpies you created, too – another delicious meal.

    March 5, 2013
    • Thanks so much Hannah, it is definitely comfort food and was fun to make. I am still eating it, pretty unbelievable it has stretched over several days.

      March 5, 2013
  15. This is perfect for a cheap feast!! It looks and sounds SO yummy! Good luck on the Food 52 contest! I

    March 6, 2013
    • Thanks so much, fingers crossed but there is some really stiff competition,

      March 6, 2013
  16. I made these dumplings today to top a turkey stew comprised entirely of leftovers (except for the dumplings) for our staff lunch. Several said it was THE BEST LUNCH EVER, and it was entirely because of the dumplings. They are so light that they are ethereal. The herbs almost lend them the taste of stuffing, but the lemon zest rescues them at the last minute, turning them into something entirely their very own. I’ll never use another dumpling recipe, ever.

    December 7, 2013
    • Thank you so much, I am just so happy that you liked my recipe. Thank you so much for making it.

      December 7, 2013

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