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Chicken and Dumplings--Cook-Off 51


David Ross
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I am going to make this dish again tomorrow.

Of course I'm not the dumpling expert here, but I'm wondering if you need a bit more fat in the mix so that the dumplings don't have that raw taste? What kind of oil do you use--is it salad oil or olive oil? Maybe that is the problem.

The old-style recipes typically called for plain shortening or lard and that would probably give more flavor than oil. And whole milk would also give more flavor than 2% or skim milk. Finally, you might want to add a beaten egg to the dumpling batter.

I'll be interested to see if those few changes maybe give you better results. Anyone else have any ideas?

Hmmm, well the oil I used was Corn Oil because I thought my Olive Oil would be too tasty, and it's all I had in the house. I saw a recipe on some blog the other day that called for melted butter. Maybe I'll try that. The lard brick where I live is just too big to buy for one recipe. Plus, I don't even really know if it's the same. As for the milk, I use whole milk.

I'll post after I make it later. And thank you!

I use melted butter in my dumpling recipe, and it's always been good. You might have luck with that.

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Chris - Your cornmeal dumplings bring back a lot of memories for me. My grandmother always made cornmeal dumplings when she had a country ham for a big holiday. She would prepare the dumplings and then cook them in country ham broth. One of my favorite dishes ever! Glad to hear they worked well in the C&D as well...

Those who do not remember the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

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Alright, I took some of the suggestions here and tweaked my normal method last night. Here goes...

First off, I like to brown the chicken parts to render some schmaltz and get that roasted flavor:

CandD 1.jpg

Second, I love celery, so in go three stalks, along with two carrots and a yellow onion, all chopped coarse, plust a few tablespoons of butter to complement the schmaltz:

CandD 2.jpg

Once the vegetables have softened a bit I add a few tablespoons of flour and let it soak up the fat and toast a little:

CandD 3.jpg

Next, a quart of homemade chicken stock (I used a quart I had on hand and supplemented it earlier by simmering the leftover parts of this chicken in it), plus my "secret" ingredient, Noilly Prat, which I prefer here over a white wine or other acid:

CandD 4.jpg

Next up my standard dumpling recipe: 2 cups flour, 1 cup hot milk, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon baking powder, salt, pepper, and this time, some thyme and sage, since that's what I had on hand. I steamed them lid on for 15 minutes, and then into a 450°F oven for another ten minutes lid off to get a bit of browning:

CandD 5.jpg

And finally, my super-fancy plating (obviously, I couldn't even be bothered to wipe the rim of the plate...):

CandD 6.jpg

I agree with Chris above: even though my mom made Chicken and Dumplings with steamed dumplings, giving them that bit of crispness at the end is a nice addition. My wife agrees, so I think this is a permanent change to my C&F recipe.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I made chicken & dumplings last night for the first time ever. It also happened to be the first time I ever ate c&d, but not the first time for my husband. I grilled him repeatedly as to the style of dumpling he had previously eaten, the texture and color of the finished product, where he had eaten them, etc. Besides Cracker Barrel, he had them, he believed, somewhere in Atlanta, and possibly Germany. (??) The dumpling was always of the noodle variety, which dovetailed nicely with my desire to make "authentic" Southern style c&d, the variety slkinsey touts on Page 1 of this discussion. In fact, I used his grandmother's recipe as a starting point.

I started out yesterday morning making the broth/stock. It was a little bit of both, I suppose, since it contained a lot of meat, but also gelled upon refrigeration. I cut up a 6+ pound roasting chicken, and browned it in two cast iron pans along with a club pack of chicken thighs. I added that to a stockpot along with a whole white onion, 3/4 of a Spanish onion, three carrots, carrot tops, two old parsnips I had forgotten about, the core of an even older bunch of celery, two bay leaves, Italian parsley, a tiny amount of dried thyme (dried myself a couple of weeks back, as I didn't have fresh), some tellicherry peppercorns, a tablespoon or two of kosher salt, and enough bottled spring water to barely cover the whole thing. I removed the breast meat five minutes after this came to a simmer, set aside the meat, and returned what bones were left to the stockpot. Ditto to all the other meat one hour later, then I let it simmer another hour. Cooled on the back deck for a few hours, I returned a bit less than half of it to a dutch oven:

c and d 00000.JPG

The dumplings were made with two cups (10 oz.) AP flour, a bit of salt, and one cup of the boiling broth. I often make Mandarin pancakes/flour tortillas using this ratio. Since the broth was pretty fatty, I had to add a bit more flour to keep it from being sticky. I let the hand-kneaded dough sit for 1/2 hour, then rolled it out in batches on a heavily floured mat, cut it and let them dry for about an hour. Incidentally, they didn't appear to dry at all:

gallery_55703_6458_782851.jpg

I seasoned the broth, let it come to a simmer, added the dumplings, and covered the pot. Ten minutes later, I added back much of the chicken and 4 oz. of whole milk, to which I had whisked in a few tablespoons of flour, since it was clear I had way too much broth in the pot:

gallery_55703_6458_27436.jpg

It may not look like much, but this stuff actually tasted fantastic. I was so pleased to have been able to produce a marginally decent facsimile of an authentic chicken & dumplings, based purely on a few tips here and there, and instinct. Next time, I will roll out the dumplings a bit thicker. While they weren't mushy, I did wish they were a bit more al dente than they turned out. I'll also use less broth next time, or more dumplings. Because there will be a next time.

Thank you, Elaine Mills Kinsey!

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I'm enjoying seeing the variations of chicken and dumplings displayed here in our cook-off. There's definately a "traditional vs. new" preference out there, and I especially like the recipes that give one the option to create a quick chicken and dumpling dish in just a few hours. My dish was very good, but I don't think everyone would want to stretch things out over the course of about three days to re-create it.

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I made chicken & dumplings last night for the first time ever. It also happened to be the first time I ever ate c&d, but not the first time for my husband. I grilled him repeatedly as to the style of dumpling he had previously eaten, the texture and color of the finished product, where he had eaten them, etc. Besides Cracker Barrel, he had them, he believed, somewhere in Atlanta, and possibly Germany. (??) The dumpling was always of the noodle variety, which dovetailed nicely with my desire to make "authentic" Southern style c&d, the variety slkinsey touts on Page 1 of this discussion. In fact, I used his grandmother's recipe as a starting point.

I started out yesterday morning making the broth/stock. It was a little bit of both, I suppose, since it contained a lot of meat, but also gelled upon refrigeration. I cut up a 6+ pound roasting chicken, and browned it in two cast iron pans along with a club pack of chicken thighs. I added that to a stockpot along with a whole white onion, 3/4 of a Spanish onion, three carrots, carrot tops, two old parsnips I had forgotten about, the core of an even older bunch of celery, two bay leaves, Italian parsley, a tiny amount of dried thyme (dried myself a couple of weeks back, as I didn't have fresh), some tellicherry peppercorns, a tablespoon or two of kosher salt, and enough bottled spring water to barely cover the whole thing. I removed the breast meat five minutes after this came to a simmer, set aside the meat, and returned what bones were left to the stockpot. Ditto to all the other meat one hour later, then I let it simmer another hour. Cooled on the back deck for a few hours, I returned a bit less than half of it to a dutch oven:

c and d 00000.JPG

The dumplings were made with two cups (10 oz.) AP flour, a bit of salt, and one cup of the boiling broth. I often make Mandarin pancakes/flour tortillas using this ratio. Since the broth was pretty fatty, I had to add a bit more flour to keep it from being sticky. I let the hand-kneaded dough sit for 1/2 hour, then rolled it out in batches on a heavily floured mat, cut it and let them dry for about an hour. Incidentally, they didn't appear to dry at all:

gallery_55703_6458_782851.jpg

I seasoned the broth, let it come to a simmer, added the dumplings, and covered the pot. Ten minutes later, I added back much of the chicken and 4 oz. of whole milk, to which I had whisked in a few tablespoons of flour, since it was clear I had way too much broth in the pot:

gallery_55703_6458_27436.jpg

It may not look like much, but this stuff actually tasted fantastic. I was so pleased to have been able to produce a marginally decent facsimile of an authentic chicken & dumplings, based purely on a few tips here and there, and instinct. Next time, I will roll out the dumplings a bit thicker. While they weren't mushy, I did wish they were a bit more al dente than they turned out. I'll also use less broth next time, or more dumplings. Because there will be a next time.

Thank you, Elaine Mills Kinsey!

Your Chicken and Dumplings look delicious--especially the Dumplings! Just because of your photo, I'm not so apprehensive of the "noodle-stlye" and I'll be trying that recipe next time. Thanks.

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I made the chicken and dumplings with the butter in place of the oil. By the way, what IS salad oil? The butter worked out great. I really enjoyed them without the bitter taste. Who'da thought it would be such a simple fix!

I want to try the flat style too, I made them once and they were great, but I can't remember what recipe I used. Have to look around....

My dumplings don't look much different than anyone else's, but here they are anyway....

071.JPG

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Ad Hoc at Home has a chicken and dumplings recipe that looks intriguing, although similar to the Ruhlman recipe (shocker) in that it uses pate a choux. Has anyone tried it? I would make play the guinea pig but I'm trying (not too succesfully) to avoid carbs where possible (i.e. outside of my cocktail glass).

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I made the chicken and dumplings with the butter in place of the oil. By the way, what IS salad oil? The butter worked out great. I really enjoyed them without the bitter taste. Who'da thought it would be such a simple fix!

I want to try the flat style too, I made them once and they were great, but I can't remember what recipe I used. Have to look around....

My dumplings don't look much different than anyone else's, but here they are anyway....

Glad that it worked for you. Sometimes a little butter goes a long way in adding just that bit of flavor boost you need.

If you look at a lot of recipes from the 50's and 60's you'll often see "salad oil" as an ingredient. From what I've been able to find, it's basically what we now call vegetable oil and corn oil. Today it's morphed into the more diet friendly canola oil.

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I've really enjoyed reading and seeing all of your chicken and dumpling creations! I've come to learn that my version is a cross between chicken and dumplings and chicken and noodles. Some day I will have to make David's version. The creamy-ness of his looks to die for. I've always made the "noodle" version of dumplings. Around my house, we call it "chicken and slicks". Slicks are short for "slick noodles" or "slick dumplings". I got the recipe for my "slicks" from an online friend a few years ago. Also, I always throw in what ever veggies I have, too. Carrots, onions...I think I've even thrown in diced 'taters a time or two :shock::laugh: . I'm in lazy mode right now, but I'm debating on making this either today or tomorrow and I'll take a pic.

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Here's the dough for the slicks all rolled out. Honestly, I could have rolled it even thinner, but I don't mind 'em a little thick.

Dumpling 001.jpg

Here they are cut up

Dumpling 003.jpg

You add these a layer at a time to the pot so that they all cook well

Dumplings 001.jpg

Dumplings 002.jpg

I like to eat this poured over a big batch of mashed taters :smile:

Dumplings 008.jpg

Last year I got creative and cut pumpkin shapes out of the dough.....a little too thick, but they were cute.

Dumplings pumpkin shaped 002.jpgDumplings 010.jpg

Edited by Shelby (log)
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I've always made the biscuit-style boiled dumpling version of C&D, although the last time I made the dish, I altered a few things, and ended up with something very similar to what Chris Hennes made above (here). The big difference between my chicken and dumplings and everyone else's seems to be that I almost never start with raw chicken and make stock specifically for the dish. For me, it's a way to use leftover cooked chicken, so I use pre-made stock (which I generally have in the freezer) and just throw in some vegetables and the leftover chicken. The only part that's at all time consuming is to make a bit of dumpling batter and add it. Since I'm usually cooking just for myself, I make enough for one dinner, with a portion left over for lunch the next day.

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Shelby, you're whole dish looks delicious......I wish I had it in front of me now.

Care to share your recipe?

I agree! Looks like something I might have eaten at my Grandmother's house that I have memories of. I can also remember "pot pie" as what it was called. Different than what we currently think of as pot pie. I would love the recipe!

Donna

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For these "slicks" or noodle-style dumplings do you have to let them rest after you make them and before you add them to the stew or do you just put them right into the hot stew like we do with our drop-style dumplings?

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Oh thank you so much, everyone!

I am not much of a measurer lol...

First of all, I sometimes am like JAZ and use chicken stock and chicken that I've already made for something else. In the past, I've also used canned chicken broth, but I've been converted over to the "make your own and it's better" side. However, either work just fine. I like making my own because it's seasoned and richer than the canned.

David, nope, the slicks don't have to rest a bit. Mine just usually do because I'm putting some cheese bread in the oven, or mashing the taters etc. I guess my main "trick" is to not thicken the soup at all before putting the homemade slicks in. The flour that is on and in the slicks always thickens it all up on it's own.

My recipe is probably exactly like everyone has posted.

Whole chicken, cover with water, season with salt and pepper, onions, garlic bay leaf etc.

When chicken is falling of the bones, strain, reserving broth.

Debone chicken.

Add chicken back into broth.

Here is where I add more onion, celery, carrot, lemon pepper, lawry's salt, etc. any spices you like.

Stew this on low heat while making the slicks.

Right before adding the slicks, add frozen peas and some heavy cream.

Add slicks a layer at a time, letting each layer cook until submerged.

Eat! I love this over mashed taters, but it's great on it's own, too.

A basic recipe for slicks is:

2 cups flour

1 cup chicken broth (from the pot you are stewing the chicken in)

Mix dough, roll out thinly.

This is what I use and it always works great.

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Someone said to me today that they would make a large batch of C&D and then have it for several meals because it would marry well. Do you all find this works, or is it better to cook it for one meal only?

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Someone said to me today that they would make a large batch of C&D and then have it for several meals because it would marry well. Do you all find this works, or is it better to cook it for one meal only?

I agree that the flavors only get better with time, but, if I make a huge batch, I only use enough slicks for us to eat that night and then I freeze the rest to add the next time I eat C&D. The slicks get a bit mushy for my liking if left in over time.

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Someone said to me today that they would make a large batch of C&D and then have it for several meals because it would marry well. Do you all find this works, or is it better to cook it for one meal only?

I froze some of the parts of what made up my chicken and dumplings dish-the stock and the chicken meat, and will use that for future chicken and dumpling dishes. I'm not so sure the actual dish would freeze and thaw very well. It had half and half in it and I think the thawed texture would affect the creaminess of the stew when re-heated.

As far as my dumplings go, I'm pretty sure they are a "best when cooked" type of recipe best-suited for a one-meal application.

After I made my chicken and dumplings, I saved some leftovers to take to work for lunch the next day. The dumplings were pasty and not nearly as good as the ones made fresh and served in the moment with the fresh chicken stew.

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I made my very first chicken and dumplings today. I was inspired by this thread to make something I had never tasted before! It came out great.. it looked very unappetizing I have to say, and when my husband took his first bite of dumpling he said "those are really gummy potatoes" but he kept eating and we loved it!

I used leftover meat from a roast chicken, and based my recipe very losely on this one which is maybe the same as the Cooks Illustrated one mentioned upthread?

4343566523_205775810f.jpg

4343566705_b2249e5cf5.jpg

sorry about the duplicate pics, i can´t seem to get rid of the huge ones!!

IMG_1153.JPG

IMG_1158.JPG

Edited by Chufi (log)
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Like all of you, I have been inspired, too. We have been snowed in here, so in honor of being at home and wanting to make the house smell wonderful, I started a recipe of something I grew up on called "Chicken and Biscuits" or "Chicken Fricassee." Mom uses the names interchangeably for a stewed chicken dish that gets ladled over wonderful, light, baking powder biscuits. Having more time than usual, I thought I'd browse through eGullet and see what you all were cooking, and headed down a different road as a result! I went from this cook-off to wondering "what is a chicken pie?" to realizing I need to learn more about stocks (where I was immersed for a long time), and am now back here, determined to use my chicken stock to first try dumplings and then with what is left use it to make the gravy for biscuits tomorrow. I think.

The chicken and dumplings look so wonderful here that I've just got to try them! Whether dumplings or biscuits get paired with it, the chicken and aromatics have already throughly perfumed the house. Yum! Thanks for the cook-off inspiration.

gayle28607

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  • 10 years later...

During these times when people are cooking more and more at home, we are turning back to the comforting dishes of our past.  Chicken and Dumplings is the perfect recipe right now to satisfy our hunger, literally, yet also to feed our souls during rough times.  The ingredients are simple and not expensive, and it feeds a large family.  What is your favorite chicken n'dumplings recipe?

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I've always loved chicken and dumplings, but I've not been able to eat them since developing celiac disease. But they were never something I could cook worth a damn. I tried dumplings with GF flour, and they dissolved into something akin to wallpaper paste. My regular ones were nothing to brag on, either. 

 

I did always prefer the dumplings that were like strips of pie crust, as opposed to the biscuit style, though.

 

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Ultimate comfort, indeed.    In our family, c&d was the first thing our son would request when down with a bad cold or recovering from flu.    Even as a young adult, he would call for rescue food, often spur of the moment for me so I developed this sloppy, short-cut version that was still well received and very welcome and out the door in under an hour..   

 

I poach boneless chicken breast in canned or boxed low salt chicken broth, remove the meat.    Bisquik dumplings poached in the broth.    Meat added back, sneaked under the dumplings.     Dutch oven wrapped in a towel and transported across town.    

 

Not "Grandma's", but greedily consumed.

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eGullet member #80.

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