This is one of the most ridiculously simple and comforting foods in the world. I learned to make chicken and dumplings from a copy of The New England Cookbook by Brooke Dojny which my friend Katherine gave me as a gift many years ago. Katherine has taught me about all things good, comforting and delicious about New England (specifically Maine). You can read more about the greatness of this cookbook under the cookbooks tab.
Until this last week, I had not made chicken and dumplings for many, many years. I no longer eat gluten, and it has taken me a long time to find a gluten-free dumpling dough as good as the original. Recently, I tried using the dough from the gluten-free buttermilk biscuits from The Art of Gluten Free Baking website and I was overjoyed with the results. You can read my full rant about the many uses for this wonderful gluten-free dough here.
I will write up the traditional recipe for chicken and dumplings and the gluten-free version here. Expect to see Cajun Duck and Dumplings (which Chris and I invented right before I stopped eating gluten) and my Estonian grandmother’s vegetable dumpling soup with goat milk broth very soon! This would be a very good way to use up the last of your thanksgiving turkey and the turkey stock that you made from the bones!
CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS adapted from The New England Cookbook
The original recipe called for cooking cubed chicken breast and vegetables in soup stock before dropping the biscuits in. I almost never buy chicken in parts, so my version starts with a whole chicken. I also like to add parsnips, but that is a matter of taste. Also, the original recipe called for dry thyme and I usually use fresh dill instead, but either one is good.
- 1 small chicken, giblets removed and saved for later
- 6 carrots peeled
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 or 2 parsnips (optional)
- 1 and 1/2 tsp dried thyme or a few tablespoons fresh dill
- Rinse the chicken and set the giblets aside to make a bone stock later.
- Place the chicken in to a large pot with 12 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
- Meanwhile, coarsely chop 1 carrot, the onion and 1 stalk of celery.
- When the water is boiling, skim off any scum that is gathering on the surface and discard it. Add the chopped celery, carrot, onion and bay leaf.
- Let the chicken simmer until it is tender. The chicken’s legs should wiggle. This takes about 45 minutes for a 4 to 5 pound chicken. Meanwhile, you can Cut the remaining carrots and celery (and parsnip if you are using it) into thin diagonal slices.
- When the chicken is done take it out of its broth and allow it to cool a bit on a platter. Strain the broth and discard the vegetable pulp.
- Pour 4-6 cups of the broth back into the pot (Any extra broth can be frozen for future use). Season the broth generously with salt and any dry herbs that you are using, then add the sliced carrot, celery and parsnip. Bring the soup to a low boil while you prep the dumpling dough (recipes below).
- Dip a tablespoon in to the hot broth and then use it to scoop out a heaping spoonful of dumpling dough. Drop the dumpling into the broth and repeat with the remaining dough. Cover the pot and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the dumplings are shiny and cooked all the way through. The dumplings will break down a bit and thicken the stew! Meanwhile, prep the chicken.
- Tear all of the chicken meat off of the bones. Discard the skin but reserve the bones to make another stock (I usually combine them with the giblets and about twice as many vegetables as I included in the first broth). Shred or chop your chicken meat into the size and shape that appeals to you.
- When the dumplings are done, throw in chicken and the fresh dill (if you are using it) and serve! Depending on the size of your chicken you may use it all or you may find yourself with some extra. I recommend using any leftover chicken for sandwiches, tacos, empanandas,coronation chicken salad or chicken hash with cranberry and sage.
- 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons minced scallions or snipped chives
- 3 tablespoons of cold crisco
- 1/2 cup, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons of milk
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
- Add the minced chives or scallions
- Cut the shortening in to the flour until the fat is the size of peas.
- Add the 1/2 cup milk and stir with a wooden spoon, adding additional tablespoons of milk if needed to make a sticky dough.
adapted from a gluten-free buttermilk biscuit recipe by Jeanne at The Art Of Gluten-Free Baking from a recipe by Lorna Yee
Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All- Purpose Flour Mix
- 1 1/4 C (170g) brown rice flour
- 1 1/4 C (205g) white rice flour
- 1 C (120g) tapioca flour
- 1 C (165g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
- 2 scant tsp. xanthan gum
- 2 C (280g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix, sifted
- 2 TBL baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 TBL (60g; 2 oz) butter, cold
- 4 TBL (60g; 2 oz) leaf lard or shortening, cold
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (180ml) (or milk mixed w/3/4 tsp of vinegar)
- Some chopped scallions or chives (optional)
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the butter and lard, and cut in with a pastry blender or your fingers until the fat resembles coarse, pea-size clumps.
- Stir in the buttermilk. If needed, add a bit extra to get a sticky dough.