You can find us every Saturday at the Carmel Farmers Market (8-11:30 a.m.) and the Fishers Farmers Market (8 a.m.-noon) through the end of September (with the only exception, the Fishers Farmers Market will be closed on 6/29 for the SPARK! festival)

Chicken and Biscuit-Style Dumplings

While narrowing down recipes for my cookbook club potluck this week (we used At the Southern Table by Paula Deen), I came across the page showing an oh-so-scrumptious photo of chicken and dumplings.  I am not typically drawn to dumplings, but they looked and sounded good to me at the time so I decided to give it a whirl.  Boy, am I glad that I did...the dish was quite tasty and something that I will make again.  Below is the slightly modified recipe.  My photo is not nearly as pretty as the one shown in the book but I promise it was good!

For the chicken and chicken stock
  • 1 whole chicken (~4-5 lbs) *Note: you will not need all of this chicken for this dish, so you will have some for a second meal
  • 4 stalks of celery, cut into 2 to 3" pieces
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 2-3" pieces
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into wedges
  • ~1 TBSP black peppercorns
For the Stew
  • 3 TBSP butter
  • 1 1/2 c each of diced onion, carrots, and celery
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1/2 c half and half (or heavy cream)
  • 1 TBSP each of chopped fresh thyme, sage, and parsley (use 1 tsp of dried if you do not have fresh herbs on hand)
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
For the biscuit-dumplings
  • 1 1/2 c flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 c salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 buttermilk
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 1 egg
  1. For the chicken and stock: In a large stockpot, place the chicken, vegetables, and peppercorns; add enough water to slightly cover.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken is tender (approximately 2 hours).  An alternative option (which is what I did using a frozen chicken), is to use an Instant Pot and use the 'Soup/Broth' function on the 'More' setting for 4 hours.  Note: if you have a thawed chicken, you can reduce your cooking time in the Instant Pot. 
  2. Once the chicken is done, remove it using tongs from the broth and place in a bowl, allowing it to cool until you can comfortably handle it.  Separate the meat from the bones and skin.  Dice the meat and use about 3 cups for this dish; the rest can be used for something else (another soup, casserole, etc.).  Strain the broth with a colander, discarding the solids.  Keep 4 cups of the stock for this dish and save and freeze the rest for another purpose (I had 12 cups leftover, which I am very happy about, as my freezer stash was getting low). 
  3. For the stew: Melt the butter over medium heat and add the carrots, celery, and onions.  Cook for about 7-8 minutes, or until just tender, stirring occasionally.  Add in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the flour.  Add in the 4 cups of reserved chicken stock, stirring as you go.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, add the fresh herbs and half and half, cover, and simmer for about 5-8 minutes, or until the mixture thickens. 
  4. While the stew is cooking, prepare the biscuit-dumplings: In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.  In a small bowl, whisk the buttermilk, melted butter, and egg together; then combine this wet mixture to the dry mixture.  Mix until a dough forms.  With floured hands, roll the dough into small balls (~1" in diameter).
  5. Add the cooked, diced chicken to the thickened stew.  Increase heat to medium-high and bring stew to a boil.  Then, drop the dough balls into the pot, but do not stir.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer (without stirring); the biscuit-dumplings will puff up and be cooked through after about 15 minutes.  Enjoy!

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