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Originally Published: September 2013. Last Updated: March 2020, added new photos and clarified instructions
There’s about a billion and three ways to make chicken and dumplings. Sometimes the dumplings are rolled out flat and cut into squares before cooking, resulting in a more chewy dumpling. Sometimes the dough is rolled into loose balls, resulting in puffy dumplings with a soft biscuit texture on the inside. The latter method has always been my go-to method. That warm biscuit texture on the inside… that’s the stuff comfort food is made of, right there.
You’ll also find variations in the broth itself. Sometimes it’s very thin and soupy. Sometimes it’s thick like stew or even a biscuit gravy. I prefer somewhere in between.
My recipe for the chicken and dumplings soup base has gone through a few revisions over the years, but the method for making the actual dumplings has remained the same since my mom used to make these for me as a kid. The completed dish I’m sharing today is the results of many iterations of trial and error and, in my opinion, it’s just about perfect.
|Easy Chicken and Dumplings|| |
- For Soup Base
- 3 TBS butter, divided
- ⅓ cup onion, minced
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 32oz box of low sodium chicken broth
- 2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded (use breast and thighs for best flavor)
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- For Dumplings
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ cups buttermilk
- 3 TBS shortening
- In a metal soup pot over medium heat, melt 1 TBS of butter and add the onions, cooking until translucent and fragrant.
- Add the remaining butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle on the flour and stir until a paste forms. Add the milk and let the mixture heat for a minute or two, and then whisk to remove any lumps. Continue cooking until mixture has begun to thicken. Add the chicken broth, cooked chicken, and salt and pepper. Allow to cook on a low simmer for about 10 minutes, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed until nice and flavorful.
- While the soup base is simmering, mix together the dry ingredients - flour, baking soda, and salt -in a mixing bowl.
- Use a fork and knife or a pastry blender to cut in the 3 TBS of shortening, then slowly add buttermilk and mix until combined. The dough should be fairly sticky but not overly wet.
- With floured hands, form dough into small balls and place them on wax paper. You should have about 28 dumplings.
- Bring the soup base to a low boil and, working quickly, drop the dumplings in by hand, one at a time. Do not stir or bump the dumplings at this point, as they may fall apart by too much handling.
- Allow to boil for 5-7 minutes or until dumplings are puffy on the outside and have reached a biscuit-like texture on the inside (I like to peek at the inside of one to make sure).
- Remove from heat and serve.
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