With fall on the way, it's nice to have a bowl of steaming love to comfort you on a cold day. I happened to make this recipe today, not because it was cold, lord, it's definitely not cold here!! But, because my little guy Ethan is home sick today.
I made some chicken stock last night since we had bone in chicken parmesan breasts. Since we didn't finish the breast meat, I shredded it and put it in the fridge. Chicken & Dumplings taste heavenly with homemade stock, as well as anything else made with homemade stock! It's much easier to prepare than you think!
The day before you make your chicken & dumplings....
Using your left over chicken & chicken carcass from roasted chicken, fried chicken, or any old bone in chicken you have prepared that yields at least 2 cups of leftover shredded chicken. Shred chicken and refrigerate. I say use left over chicken because I think it tastes better leftover and it really stretches your food $$$ ;)
1-2 carrots, roughly chopped
1-2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
1/2 to 1 onion (depending on the size), peeled and quartered
2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1 sprig of rosemary, (optional to use dried, on average it's usually 1/4 tsp to one sprig)
2 dried bay leaves,
2 sprigs of thyme, (optional to use dried, on average it's usually 1/4 tsp to one sprig)
1 Tbsp Whole Pepper Corns
Salt & Pepper to Taste
Put in your chicken carcass after you have taken all the spare meat off the bones in to a large stock pot. Fill a stock pot with 2.5-5 quarts of cold water. It should cover the carcass, but not over flow the pot when you add your veg. Add each of the ingredients to the pot as they are chopped & measured. Bring water to a boil for approx 15 min, then simmer on low for about 30-60 min. The stock should have a golden to light brown color when finished. Strain stock with a fine wire mesh strainer in to a large bowl and cool. When liquid cools, store in an air tight container and refrigerate for up to 10 days or freeze in a freezer safe container for up to 4 months.
**Rinse & Reserve your veggies and store in the fridge (gets all the woody bits off the veg).
There is no exact science to stock making and don't be afraid to experiment. Don't be afraid to use other spices or veggies. Each will add it's own unique flavor. Of course, aromatics work best, leeks, scallions, pearl onions, shallots, etc. AND savory, oregano, marjoram, sage etc. spices are nice too. Use whatever is on hand.
CHICKEN & DUMPLINGS
2 cups shredded chicken
4 cups of stock (you can optionally use store bought broth or stock, but the veggies will have to be sautéed to soften them up before adding them to the stock)
1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup coarsely ground cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
In a stock pot, heat stock & shredded chicken and reserved veggies on medium while you prepare your dumplings.
In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine first five ingredients, mix with a fork. Slowly add heavy cream and just mix until well combined (using you hand it best). Dough will look a little rough. Using a sm cookie scoop, scoop the dough into the pot, making sure not to overcrowd the dumplings, as they will spread a bit as they cook. Just enough to sparsely fill the pot. Turn heat to simmer (med-low). Cook uncovered for 10 minutes, then cover for 10 minutes. I like to sprinkle some dried thyme on top of each before covering.
Serve piping hot with love to anyone you want to comfort on a cold day :)