Growing up, chicken and dumplings was one of my favorite dinners. Okay, I picked around the chicken and just ate the dumplings! Anyone else?
The dumplings were actually biscuits, and until I made some of my own that is what I thought dumplings were: fat, fluffy balls of goodness. If that’s how you like your dumplings, then you can stop reading now. My dumplings are more like egg noodles. There are no freezer biscuits to be found in my house.
Chicken n Dumplins is a comfort food for sure, this recipe is thick and hearty. Some real food tips can make this dish a healthy addition to your repertoire.
Real Food Tips
Organic, pastured chicken. Chickens that are allowed to soak in the sun, scratch the ground, and chomp on grubs are happier and healthier, and as a result don’t need to be given antibiotics, which can get into the meat. Whole chickens are the way to go. You get more bang for your buck, and you can put the carcass in the crock pot and have nutrient-dense broth to add to soups or to drink by the mug.
Variety of flours. You can certainly use an unbleached all-purpose, but why not add some whole wheat or gluten free flour? This recipe is very forgiving, so this is your chance to experiment with some coconut flour, or other gluten-free flour.
Homemade broth. Yes, I realize I already mentioned how awesome homemade bone broth is, but you will want to add some to this recipe. Yes, I realize you will have already needed to buy a whole chicken, use the meat, and get broth from the carcass. So go buy a chicken, and cook these Garlic Herb Wings! There, now you have a carcass.
Vegetables. I don’t recall having vegetables in our chicken ‘n dumplins growing up. Maybe we did, and I just chose to eat around them. Celery and carrots are a must for this recipe, but other vegetables would be great as well.
Homemade Wholesome Chicken ‘n Dumplins
3 1/2 cups of cooked organic/pastured chicken, shredded/chunked
6 cups bone broth
2 cups water (or additional broth)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour (or any other flour)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons butter
scant cup whole milk
6-7 carrots, peeled and diced
6-7 celery stalks, diced
S&P to taste
In mixing bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, and salt. Cut in butter using two knives, until mixture looks like course meal. Add milk, mix until dough forms a ball.
Heavily flour a large area of counter. Flour rolling pin and grab a pizza roller.
Roll dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Periodically lift the dough to re-flour surface (this is a sticky dough!).
Using pizza cutter, cut dough into squares, 1 inch by 1 inch works, but they will turn out crooked and mis-shapen. Don’t you worry about that.
For Immediate Use
Once dumplings are cut, sprinkle flour over the top of them. Using parchment paper sprinkle some flour on the paper and add a layer of dumplings. Continue to layer flour, paper, and dumplings. The extra flour will help thicken your broth. Set aside until ready to cook.
I usually use half of my dumplings the day I make them and freeze the rest. To freeze, follow the same directions as if you were using today, then place in a freezer safe bag. Lay flat in freezer for at least 4 hours (until frozen) then make sure most of the air is out of the bag to prevent freezer burn.
Bring broth and water to a boil. Add chicken, carrots, celery, and dumplings. Boil for approximately 20 minutes or until the dumplings are no longer doughy inside (Take one out and chomp it!). Add salt and pepper to taste.