Southern Chicken and Dumplings
This is a great recipe for how to make southern chicken and dumplings with homemade rolled dumplings. Chicken and dumplings is a classic southern comfort food. Almost everyone has beautiful memories of their grandmother’s chicken and dumplings. I make it the same way my granny use to, and the same way my grandmother did. This is a recipe that has been passed down in my family for many generations. It is a very special recipe, and takes a bit of time, so I only make it a few times a year. It is so delicious and economical though, I should make it more often. It is a favorite dish in my family, and I find it to be the perfect Sunday supper. The only ingredients that I have added to this cherished family recipe, to make it my own are marjoram, thyme, and parsley. You can use a whole cut up chicken for this recipe, but I like to use only dark meat in soups. It is also more economical and tasty to use dark meat. The dumplings are rolled out and dropped into the soup pot one by one. Everyone that I grew up around rolled out their dumplings. You can also buy frozen dumplings, but I feel they are extremely un-tasty. You could also be lazy and just drop the dough by the spoonful, but where’s the fun in that? If you are taking the time to make this indulgent recipe, you might as well get a work out from rolling out the dough yourself. Remember, at any time in this recipe, do not try and skim any fat from the chicken broth. You need the fat for flavor, and after it is done, it will all come together. After the soup has had a one to two hour simmer, the dumplings will be very tender and begin to break apart. By this time, the soup is very thick, creamy and oh so delicious.
There are many different ways to make chicken and dumplings, I highly recommend making your own dumplings, they are so much better than store bought or using pre-made biscuit dough.
Yield: Serves 4
Southern Chicken and Dumplings Recipe
5-6 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
3 cups all purpose flour, plus more for kneading and rolling
a pinch of table salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried parsley
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
4 quarts water
a drizzle of olive oil
Preheat a large soup pot. Salt and pepper the chicken thighs. Drizzle some olive oil in the pot. Brown thighs on each side. Add onions, celery and garlic. Saute until soft. Add marjoram and thyme.
Add 2 quarts water and boil until chicken is falling away from the bone.
When chicken is done, remove and let cool. Pick the chicken in pieces away from the bone and add back to soup pot. Discard the skin and bones.
Add 2 more quarts of water to the soup pot. Bring the water, chicken and stock back to a boil, and turn to medium heat.
While the water is coming to a boil add the flour to a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of the table salt and mix together. Add the milk and mix until the dough starts to come together. Then start to work the dough with your hands. Start to fold the dough over and knead as if you were making biscuits, but knead the dough more. You want a fairly stiff dough. Then divide the dough ball in two pieces. Take one piece and form a flattened disc. Start to roll out. This dough is quite a work out to roll out. It is not nearly as easy as pie dough.
Keep rolling the dough out till it is pretty thin and the edges just start to roll up. Then cut the dough in about 1 inch by 2 inch strips. I like to cut mine in a diamond shape. I find that a pizza roller makes this job very easy.
Then drop the dumplings one by one in the boiling stock. When you have dropped about 10 dumplings or so, add some freshly ground black pepper. Continue dropping the dumplings in one by one in the bowling water or lay them on top of the other dumplings. Continue to add the freshly ground black pepper and dunk the dumplings.
Take the other half of the dough and repeat the process. When all dumplings have been added to the pot one by one, turn the heat to low. Simmer for 1 to 2 hours until the dumplings are very tender and have started to break apart a little. The broth should be thick and creamy.
Serve and enjoy with some delicious biscuits.