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I’m starting to really like chicken thighs, maybe even more than breasts. Breasts are a lot prettier, bigger, and more commonly used in classic recipes, but thighs are juicier and have more flavorful. Today I used chicken thighs for my own version of chicken and dumplings. I started by sautéing 4 chicken thighs in butter and olive oil in my big pot for about 10 minutes or so (until pretty much done). I seasoned them with S&P and dried thyme. While the chicken was cooking, I was busy chopping up my veggies. When the chicken was done, I moved it to a plate and ripped it into pieces while the veggies were cooking.

The rest of my chicken and dumplings came from Tyler’s recipe. I added a little cornstarch slurry to get the chicken stock to thicken. I might have thickened it a little too much, but that’s ok. I was a little confused by the directions “simmer for 15 minutes.” I though that meant lower the temp, but now I think it means have small bubbles going for 15 minutes. I followed the dumpling recipe closely and got 11 from halving the recipe. I covered the pot to cook the dumplings better, and flipped them halfway through.

The sauce was awesome! Much better than any chicken soup I’ve ever had. It had lots of flavor and I wish there had been more, haha. I liked the dumplings too. They puffed up pretty big and were really hearty and dense. The egg is responsible for that, I’m guessing, and I would like to experiment by using chicken fat and/or butter to make dumplings to compare. This was a great meal, not too hard, not a lot of standing around time, and really tasty.

Update: I also have made this recipe using a dumpling recipe from Baking Bites. I’ll include it at the bottom. They puffed up like crazy and were less dense because they didn’t have an egg. Can’t choose a favorite though, they both worked perfect with the soup and tasted great! This time I used leftover roasted chicken and homemade chicken stock, courtesy of Kittencal. That recipe is at the bottom too.

Chicken and Dumplings – Tyler Florence

Ingredients for Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 cup diced carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced celery (I added some diced onion as well)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (I used 3 little ones and I was halving the recipe)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper, for garnish
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

Ingredients for Dumplings:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk

To prepare dumplings: sift dry ingredients together in a large bowl. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs and milk together; pour the liquid in the dry ingredients and gently fold. Mix just into the dough comes together, the batter should be thick and cake-like.

To prepare Supreme Sauce: In a Dutch oven, melt butter and heat oil over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, garlic, and bay leaves. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour to make a roux. Continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes to coat the flour and remove the starchy taste. Slowly pour in the chicken stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.

Let sauce simmer until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 15 minutes. Stir in heavy cream.

Fold the reserved shredded chicken into the sauce and bring up to a simmer. Using 2 spoons, carefully drop heaping tablespoonfuls of the dumpling batter into the hot mixture. The dumplings should cover the top of the sauce, but should not be touching or crowded. Let the dumplings poach for 10 to 15 minutes until they are firm and puffy. Season with freshly cracked black pepper and garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Baking Bites Dumplings

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter, cold
1 cup buttermilk

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Cut butter into four or five chunks and add it to the flour mixture. Rub butter in with your fingertips until mixture has a sandy consistency. Add in buttermilk, stirring with a fork until the dough just comes together. Add an extra tablespoon or two of buttermilk if dough is too dry to come together easily. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, adding a little extra flour if dough is very sticky. Knead lightly for 4-5 minutes. Set aside.

Kittencal’s Crock Pot Chicken Stock

Two big ziploc bags full. Honestly, my soup pot and crockpot were barely big enough to hold the chicken carcass, veggies, and liquid. Might need to do some adjusting next time, I was terrified it was going to overflow.

Ingredients:

  • 4 lbs uncooked chicken pieces (bone and skin on, or use 1 large chicken carcass along with chicken pieces)
  • 2 large onions, do not peel the skin off, and cut in large pieces
  • 2 large unpeeled carrots, washed
  • 2 large celery ribs, cut in half
  • 10 -12 peppercorns
  • 1 head garlic, broken into cloves (can leave the skin on)
  • 2 tablespoons salt (or to taste)
  • cold water, to cover all ingredients

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken pieces and/or carcass (or the turkey carcass) in an extra large stock pot, along with all remaining ingredients.
  2. Fill with cold water to cover ingredients, and up to almost three quarters of the stock pot.
  3. Place on stove element; cover and bring to a full boil.
  4. Reduce heat; simmer and remove any fat or scum that is floating on top of the water.
  5. At this point you can transfer to a crockpot.
  6. Simmer covered with a lid on low heat for about 4-5 hours for stove top (or 9-12 hours on LOW setting for a crockpot).
  7. Adjust salt to suit taste.
  8. After the 5-6 hours of simmering time turn off heat and allow the pot to sit until room temperature with all ingredients still in the pot, DO NOT REMOVE BONES OR VEGGIES.
  9. Transfer the pot to the fridge (with all ingredients still in it) and chill overnight.
  10. THE FOLLOWING DAY: Remove the pot from the fridge (mixture will be a jelly consistency).
  11. Remove any fat that has gathered on top.
  12. Heat again until just to a liquid (this will make it easier to strain).
  13. Remove all chicken pieces and strain in a large strainer, if desired you may strain again in a cheesecloth, but it is not necessary.
  14. Let cool completely and freeze in containers.
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