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Chicken and Dumplings

Chicken and Dumplings

The Nosh Pit: A Southern comfort food that seems awfully familiar.

This is the second week in a row I’m sharing a recipe for a soup or stew, and I won’t apologize. As I write this, informs me it is a sunny 25° F outside the office – with a wind chill factor of 14°. What – did you expect me to go outside and check?

If you’re unfamiliar with chicken and dumplings, you may be thinking – ‘doesn’t she mean knaidlach? Kreplach? Wontons?’ I assure you that I do not. Chicken and dumplings is actually a traditional Southern dish, so full (at least the way I make it) of chopped vegetables, bites of chicken and fluffy dumplings that there is barely any room for soup at all. And there is no matzah meal to be found inside these dumplings – just light, fluffy balls of dough.

The recipe below is exactly how I made it, with carrots, parsnips, leeks and onions – mostly because that’s what I had in the house. Vegetable-wise, this recipe is quite forgiving: You can throw in things I don’t like, like peppers, celery and peas, or things that I didn’t have like turnips, zucchini or mushrooms.

This recipe takes a little more time investment – especially when you pull the chicken out to debone it – but it is all worth it in the end. You want to be careful when you do remove the chicken that you’ve gotten all the bones, since you won’t be straining it unless you also want to remove the veggies.

Chicken and Dumplings – Serves 4 to 6

Whole chicken cut in 8 (about 3 pounds)
3 carrots
2 parsnips
1 or 2 leek
3 onions
One can chicken broth
5 to 6 cups water

3/4 cup flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup soy or coconut milk
1 ½ tablespoons oil

Peel and dice the carrots, parsnips and onions. Clean and slice the leeks. In a large pot or Dutch oven (at least 6 quarts) place the chicken (skin on), then the vegetables. Pour the broth on top then add enough water to just cover the contents of the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for about 2 hours.

Remove the chicken from the pot, let sit for 10 minutes, then remove the skin and bones and cut or shred the meat into chunks. Add back in to the soup.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Return the soup to the stove and bring back to a simmer.

Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt, the mix in the soy milk and oil.

Once the soup is simmering, drop the dough by teaspoonfuls – no bigger! – in to the pot. Do not stir. Cover the pot and continue to simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through (you can take one out to test).

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