Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chicken & Dumplings

For this month's International Incident Party by Jeroxie (with me as a co-host since it's my birthday month!) we're featuring dishes of nostalgia.

Abstract definitely fits with my personality, and since food is such a major part of my life, a dish immediately sprang to mind: Chicken & Dumplings.

If I could say one item from my life that has always brought with it happiness and fond memories, it is chicken & dumplings. From the time I was a child, until the present, this classic dish warms my stomach and soul every time I am able to savor a bite. It tends to appear when things are calm and peaceful, allowing me to appreciate the little things of the moment and reflect upon all the blessings I have in my life.

My siblings and I grew up on this dish, and it's one of the few I believe we have each mastered in our way. I prefer the strips of dumplings my middle sister is known for, to the common dumpling "balls" of dropping the dough into the soup. My youngest sister is known for her spice mixtures, and can turn any classic recipe into her own. And our brother is a master at eating this soup, although he can wield a spatula in his own right when he feels up to it (and he is healing from his surgery, albeit slowly).

Although chicken & dumplings are usually served with just onion, celery, and carrots, I love vegetables and add many more of my favorites that happen to be on hand. It helps individualize the soup and create a heartiness that can stand up to the thick dumplings. The soup is more satisfying and is a lovely personal touch to experiment with your favorite vegetable sampling. Enough recipes exist for practically every cook, with differences that range from how to cook the chicken, to which seasonings should accompany the dish. Chicken & dumplings is a classic for many people, so start experimenting and create new memories with potential nostalgia for your loved ones, too.

Chicken & Dumplings

3 lbs. farm-raised, organic, whole chicken (roasting instructions)
16 cups filtered water
1 large onion, medium chopped
6 large celery stalks, medium chopped
6 medium carrots, peeled and medium chopped
1 large leek, medium chopped
2 medium bell peppers, medium chopped
10 large crimini mushrooms, medium chopped
1/4 cup raw milk
2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp dried thyme

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup raw milk

After roasting the chicken and removing it from the oven, allow it to rest while you prepare the water. In a very large soup pot, add 16 cups water and bring it to a low boil. While the water is heating, remove as much meat from the chicken bones as possible; set aside. Add the chicken bones and skin to the water and cook for 45 min.

During this time, prepare your vegetables and set aside in a large bowl. Once the simple stock is finished cooking, use tongs and a spider to remove all the chicken bones and skin. Then add the vegetables, as well as the raw milk through dried thyme. Cook over medium-high heat for 30 min.

Prepare your dumplings by mixing together the flour through raw milk in a medium bowl. Liberally flour your working surface and roll out the dumplings to cut into rectangles.

Add to the soup one at a time, ensuring none stick together. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 20 min. Serve with fresh parsley if desired.

~Yields 8-10 servings.

~Original by Brie.


  1. I love that you have each your own take on a dish from your childhood. This looks absolutely delectable! Happy Birthday month!!!

  2. Happy birthday month! I'm liking the look of this warm and comforting family dish.

  3. Happy birthday month sweetie.... love this recipe with the dumplings. And nice to see that organic chicken is used. :)

  4. Your dish looks absolutely wonderful - these dishes from our childhoods that bring back wonderful memories and create warm feelings are so special. I hope you have or had a very happy birthday!

  5. That's so cool that all of your siblings have their own unique relationship with this dish. Even though my mom didn't make it, it really is an incredibly comforting dish. Your post has made me want it something fierce. I am glad your brother is recovering, albeit slowly. Happy birthday!!!! [And I know plenty about the 70s, fyi! ; ) ]

  6. This is comfort in a bowl! No two person person preparing the same dish will have it coming out exactly the same. That is what makes cooking so interesting. Happy Birthday!

  7. I could almost smell that - it looks so good. beautiful photography, lovely recipe. I can tell I'm going to love your blog :-)

  8. Happy Birthday to you! Everyone is sharing such beautiful stories and delicious recipes. Your chicken and dumplings has my mouth watering.

  9. Lovely dish and memories. Happy Birthday to you

  10. beautiful photos! i hope you had a wonderful birthday

    this looks delicious

  11. Mushrooms! ah, my grandmother from whom I learned to make chicken and dumplings (her original included Bisquick) would call you le renegade!

  12. I am not a natural born cook, and my mom did not domesticate me. I am creative though and do enjoy that part of it. The frustration is I don't have a sense of what spices would go with what. I love to try new things, especially ethnic. I've made chicken and dumplings before but strictly by recipe. I like variations, I prefer them, but I'm stumped when it comes to cooking. I'm going to try this one. I'll get back to you.

  13. So glad I found you on TK! You have a lovely blog and this is a true comfort dish!

  14. Can you believe I have never had Chicken and Dumpling. I think I HAVE to make this....immediately.