Favorite Chicken and Dumpling recipe
My husband's been working 14 hour days for the past week and a half, and finally has a night off. I asked him what he wanted for dinner, and he said chicken stew with dumplings. I've never made this before, so I'm looking for some good recipe ideas, and any tips for a first timer? Thanks!
My mom used to make chicken stew with a thick eggy noodle, somewhat like spaetzle in texture, a bit dense and chewy, but not at all unpleasant, and pretty large. I don't have a specific recipe but I do remember that she rolled the dough out thickly and cut them randomly, (she used ot cut them with her ravioli cutter) rather than dropping the dough in the stew. It was a kneadable dough, rather than a thinner batter. The color of the cooked noodle was somewhat yellow, that's why I firmly believe there was egg. The recipe may have come from my grandmother, who was German, and was probably a basic egg noodle recipe, with eggs, flour, seasoning and milk. Not a dumpling in appearance, though, more a really thick noodle. It may have been just as simple as something like this recipe:
She also made the usual flour/milk/baking powder light dumpling, that cooked on the top of stew.
I hope this helps.
I have to tell this story. I grew up in central PA and there chicken and dumplings is chicken stew with light fluffy drop dumplings. Chicken pot pie is chicken stew with the thick, floury noodle-type dumplings. I moved from there to NC where I got a job cooking in the Belmont Abbey monastery. The head cook left me a note to make chicken and dumplings for supper so I made light fluffy dumplings. The brothers ate it all, scraping out the pan. The next morning I got called in and my boss said, "I don't know what you made last night but it wasn't chicken and dumplings!" "Did they eat it?" "They ate it all."
Another time creamed potatoes was on the menu. Creamed potatoes? Must mean scalloped potatoes. I put scalloped potatoes out with similar results. Next morning, same conversation with boss. Aha! Creamed potatoes translates into mashed potatoes!
So in PA speak chicken & dumplings = chicken pot pie in NC speak. Chicken pot pie in NC speak (stew topped with biscuits) = chicken pie (really thick chicken stew baked in a pie crust top and bottom) in PA speak. Shepherd's pie (topped with mashed potatoes or biscuits, PA) = Chicken pot pie (NC). Creamed potatoes (NC) = mashed potatoes (PA) and scalloped potatoes are scalloped potatoes as far as I know.
The whole episode led to some interesting discussions on regional foods and a lot more care to make sure one person was cooking what the other person was talking!
A good story. Just to add to the creamed potatoes confusion, I have made "creamed potatoes," as I'm sure you have as well, new or just regular potatoes cooked in cream, and with little garden peas in the spring, probably called "new potatoes in cream" in some circles. We just called it creamed potatoes at home, but I have a old friend in PA (from when I lived there for a few years in early HS, northwest of Scranton) who called the dish by it's "other" name.
There's gotta be a book on the market on the US regional or state to state food topic.
I made the thick-noodle type not too long ago, roughly following a recipe I found online.. The soup part was straight forward chicken soup. The dumplings were essentially flour, salt and water, with just a bit of baking powder, kneaded well, and rolled about 1/4" thick. A small rise is fine, but the texture should be a bit chewy.
There is also a Spanish stew called andrajos (rags), where the stew (rabbit or salt cod, I use chicken) is topped at the last minute with a simple flour and water dough (almost an uncooked flour tortilla). I have used broken parparadelle instead.
Here's a West Indies version of dumplings; Feasting on Waves showed something like this.
Thanks for the links - I did a hybryid of the CI version and the sara moulton version.
4 chicken breasts (browned and then skin removed)
2 stalks of celery
sauteed in butter
little bit of beer to deglaze the pan
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup half and half
meat back in to simmer for 1 hour (would probably do less next time)
shred meat & put back in with frozen peas
mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 tbs baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt with 1/2 cup milk & 2 tbs butter to make dumplings and drop in small balls in stew, cook 15 min more.
Although realizing too late I didn't really have the peas that I thought I did, and the dumplings coming out a bit too heavy, it wasn't bad for a first shot. And the husband was happy.
I'm 4 weeks away from our first child, so everything we make has been being doubled and frozen, so I did a full recipe of the stew, but only made half the dumplings, since I didn't know how they would freeze, and popped a few single servings away for a latter date.