Chicken and dumplings is a classic comfort food that has been passed down through generations. This savory dish, with its tender chicken, fluffy dumplings, and flavorful broth, is perfect for warming up on a chilly day or enjoying with family and friends. In this ultimate guide, we will explore the history of chicken and dumplings, discuss different variations of the dish, and provide a step-by-step recipe to recreate this beloved comfort food in your own kitchen.
Variations of Chicken and Dumplings
When it comes to chicken and dumplings, there is no shortage of regional variations that showcase the diverse culinary traditions across different parts of the world. From the creamy and comforting Southern-style dumplings to the hearty noodle-style dumplings of the Midwest, each variation adds its own unique twist to this beloved dish. Join us as we take a flavorful journey through the regional variations of chicken and dumplings and discover the delightful nuances that make them so special.
In the Southern United States, chicken and dumplings hold a special place in the hearts and stomachs of many. The Southern-style dumplings are thick and creamy, often resembling biscuits more than traditional dumplings. These dumplings are typically made by dropping spoonfuls of dough into the simmering chicken broth, where they cook and thicken the stew. The result is a velvety, rich, and indulgent dish that is pure comfort on a plate.
Heading north to the Midwest, we find a different take on chicken and dumplings. In this region, the dumplings are often rolled out thinly, creating long, ribbon-like noodles that are added to the chicken broth. These dumplings have a light and delicate texture that perfectly complements the savory broth and tender chicken. The Midwest-style chicken and dumplings are a favorite during cold winter nights when a warm bowl of this hearty dish is just what you need to chase away the chill.
Chinese-style Chicken and Dumplings
Traveling across the globe to China, we encounter yet another variation of chicken and dumplings. In Chinese cuisine, dumplings are a staple, and there are countless ways to enjoy them. Chinese-style chicken and dumplings often feature a filling made of minced chicken, along with aromatic ingredients like ginger, garlic, and scallions. These dumplings can be steamed, pan-fried, or added to a flavorful chicken broth for a comforting soup. The Chinese-style chicken and dumplings showcase the art of dumpling-making and offer a delightful blend of flavors and textures.
Caribbean-style Chicken and Dumplings
Venturing to the sunny Caribbean, we discover a vibrant and spicy twist on chicken and dumplings. In this variation, the dumplings are made with a combination of flour and cornmeal, resulting in a denser texture. The dumplings are then added to a fragrant and spicy chicken stew, infused with Caribbean spices like thyme, allspice, and Scotch bonnet peppers. The Caribbean-style chicken and dumplings offer a burst of tropical flavors that will transport you to the sandy beaches and turquoise waters of the islands.
Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings are the Perfect Balance of Flavors
At its core, Southern style chicken and dumplings is a dish that celebrates simplicity and the natural flavors of its ingredients. The combination of tender chicken, savory broth, and pillowy dumplings creates a harmonious balance that is both comforting and satisfying. The slow simmering of the chicken infuses the broth with a depth of flavor, while the dumplings soak up the deliciousness, making each bite a delightful experience.
The Recipe: Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings
Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sear in olive oil for 3 minutes per side. Remove and let rest 10 minutes before dicing.
While the chicken is resting add the onions, carrots, and celery and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and seasoning.
Cook for 1 more minute then add in the flour and cook for another 2 minutes.
Slowly add in the chicken broth, stirring continuously.
Add the half and half, frozen peas, diced chicken, and dry sherry (the sherry gives the broth an extra zip!). Simmer while you whip up the dumplings.
Drop the dumplings by the small scoopful into the broth. Cover tightly and bring to a gently simmer for 15 minutes. You may be tempted, but do not lift that lid! To ensure the middle of the dumplings are done, insert a wooden into the middle. If it comes out clean, the dumplings are done, if not, just simmer for a couple of more minutes.
Garnish with parsley and serve!!
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Southern Style Chicken and Dumplings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 pounds chicken thighs bone in
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 onion diced
- 1 cup carrots diced
- 2 sticks celery diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons chicken better than bouillon optional
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 2 cups half and half
- 3/4 cup frozen peas
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 ounce dry sherry
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 cup sour cream cold
- 1/4 cup milk cold
- 4 tablespoons butter melted
- Heat the olive oil in a 4 ½ quart soup pot over medium-high heat.
- Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot and cook for 3 minutes per side, until nice and browned. Remove from pot and set aside to rest.
- Add a little more olive oil if the pot is dry and add the diced onions, celery, and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, and poultry seasoning.
- Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring continuously.
- Slowly add in the chicken broth, stirring continuously. Don’t forget to scrap up any of that front that may have developed on the bottom of the pot.
- Add in the half and half, better than bouillon, diced chicken, frozen peas, dry sherry, Italian seasoning, and poultry seasoning.
- Bring to a very gentle simmer while you make the dumplings
- In a medium bowl combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, poultry seasoning, and sugar.
- Fold in the milk, sour cream and melted butter. Don’t over mix or you will get a dense dumpling.
- Using a teaspoon or a cookie scoop, carefully drop the dumplings into the soup in an even layer. Turn once to coat both sides in the broth.
- Cover tightly and keep at a gentle simmer for 15 minutes. Don’t lift the lid or the dumplings will not steam.
- Remove the lid and insert a toothpick into the middle of the dumplings. If it comes out clean the dumplings are done, if not, just cover again and simmer for a couple of more minutes.
- Serve hot and garnished with parsley and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?
Yes, you can use boneless chicken for this recipe. However, using bone-in chicken adds more flavor to the broth. If using boneless chicken, consider adding chicken broth or bouillon to enhance the flavor.
Can I make the dumplings ahead of time?
Yes, you can make the dumplings ahead of time. Prepare the dumplings as instructed, but instead of dropping them into the simmering broth, place them on a floured baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftovers. Allow the dish to cool completely, then transfer it to airtight containers or freezer bags. Label and date the containers, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw the frozen chicken and dumplings in the refrigerator overnight and warm them on the stovetop or in the microwave.
What other vegetables to the chicken and dumplings?
Any ones that you want! Adding vegetables such as mushrooms or corn can enhance the flavor and add nutritional value to the dish. Simply chop the vegetables into small pieces and add them to the pot along with the chicken.
What are some variations of Southern style chicken and dumplings?
There are various regional and personal variations of Southern style chicken and dumplings. Some recipes call for adding buttermilk to the dumpling dough for a tangy flavor, while others incorporate spices such as paprika or cayenne pepper for a bit of heat. Feel free to experiment and customize the recipe to suit your taste preferences.
Can I use pre-made dumplings instead of making them from scratch?
Yes, you can use pre-made dumplings if you prefer a quicker and easier option. Look for refrigerated or frozen dumplings at your local grocery store. Follow the package instructions for cooking time and method. You can even use biscuits!
Southern style chicken and dumplings is a timeless dish that epitomizes the comforting flavors of Southern cuisine. This classic recipe brings together tender chicken, flavorful broth, and pillowy dumplings in a harmonious marriage of taste and texture. Whether you’re seeking a hearty meal for a cozy family dinner or simply craving a taste of home, this recipe is sure to satisfy. So gather your ingredients, roll up your sleeves, and embark on a culinary journey that celebrates tradition, flavor, and the joy of sharing a delicious meal with loved ones.