Chicken and Dumplings

Good old fashioned comfort food!
Hearty and great for lunches for the week.

Make sure you read all the way at the bottom for a few tips I found that helped quite a bit while making.

Prep time: 45 minutes (though some is done while simmering is happening)

Cook time: 2 hours approx total start to finish

Ingredients

  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 3 stalks celery cut into 3 pieces
  • 2 carrots cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 large bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 3 lbs bone-in chicken breast
  • 32 oz carton chicken broth
  • water (4 – 6 cups approx)
  • 4 tbsp self-rising flour
  • 2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1/4 c shortening (Crisco shortening sticks)

Instructions

  1. Mix all seasonings in a small bowl
  2. Melt butter in a 10 quart stock pot over med-high heat. Add celery, carrots, onion and seasonings. Mix and cook for about 5 minutes. Push veggies to the side as much as possible so chicken can be laid on the bottom. Brown chicken 5 -7 minutes each side.
  3. Measure 3/4 c. of chicken broth and put in refrigerator to chill
  4. Pour remaining chicken broth into stock pot. Add water as needed to cover chicken breasts completely by 2-3 inches. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken is tender, about 1 hour.
  5. Remove chicken and carrots and place on a plate/platter to let cool. Celery can be removed and thrown away.
  6. Measure out 1/2 c. of cooking liquid and put in a bowl to cool for about 5 minutes. Once cooled, add 4 tbsp. flour and whisk together well. Add back to stock pot and whisk well until smooth. Keep liquid simmering on low.
  7. In a large bowl add 2 c. flour and shortening. Using a fork, cut shortening into flour until it is evenly mixed and in small bits. Add in half the chilled chicken broth, using gloved (or bare) hands knead together. Continue adding broth until all flour is moist and dough pulls together into a ball.
  8. Flour a flat surface. Knead dough in flour 5 – 6 times. Flatten, sprinkle with flour and roll out to approx 1/8 inch thickness. Cut dough with a sharp knife into small squares: 1 in x 1 in or smaller. (They will expand quite a bit so in order to get bite size pieces they must be fairly small to start).
  9. Drop dough squares, in batches, into simmering cooking liquid. Use a spoon to push dough aside to add more pieces to prevent them from sticking together. Partially cover and simmer for roughly 12 minutes, until dumplings are firm. Cover and remove from heat.
  10. Pick meat off of chicken bones, pulling apart/cutting into bite size shreds. Slice carrots into desired thickness. Add chicken and carrots to pot. Leave covered for about 30 minutes before serving.
  11. May need to be salted to individual taste.

Tips

  • 2 large chicken breasts or 3 smaller pieces work best. You have to be able to fit the largest surface of each pieces on the bottom of the stock pot to brown
  • Using a smaller crock pot:
    • Browning chicken may be more difficult because of less surface space on the bottom but it can be done
    • May need more broth or water to completely cover chicken for cooking
  • You could use the milk cap or similar sized form to make dough circles instead of squares. Just make sure that pieces are small or it is difficult to easily eat.
  • Add more carrots if desired
  • Add 1 – 2 tsp minced garlic if desired to step 2

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