I saw Tyler’s Ultimate Chicken and Dumplings on The Food Network and I knew I had to make them! They looked so good I was willing to take on the mammoth task from scratch. If you do not want to make your own stock and cook your own chicken, feel free to skip the beginning of the recipe and go right down to making the veggies, sauce and dumplings. Next time, I will!
I got a chicken, put it in a large Dutch oven with peppercorns, half an onion, a head of garlic sliced in half, some thyme and some salt. I brought it up to a boil but quickly turned it down to a simmer. I was worried with the chicken sticking out of the water that it was not going to get cooked all the way so after half an hour I turned it over and then let it poach for another 30 minutes. Make sure to skim the broth as the chicken cooks.
I took out the chicken and left it cool. Then I strained the broth and let it cool. I did not want all the fat from the chicken in the broth so I chilled the broth in the fridge. All the fat solidified on top and was easy to remove. I took off all the meat and put it in a container in the fridge. I would make the dinner the next day. I was done for now.
When ready to make the dish, make sure the broth is on the stove nice and warm. Saute carrots, celery, garlic and throw in two bay leaves. I also sauteed some onion since I did not want to pay $4 for pearl onions. Cook for around 5 minutes and then add the flour which will help thicken the sauce. Stir to coat the veggies and cook the flour for a minute or so.
Slowly, gradually add the hot broth and stir. You need to add six cups of broth this way and I eventually went too fast at one point and the sauce stopped thickening.
I added about a tsp of cornstarch to some cold water, stirred together and then added to the broth to help thicken it, which it did.
To make the dumpling dough (which I did ahead of time) you sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk together some buttermilk (I used evaporated milk with some lime juice added to it), eggs and chives. Add to the dry ingredients and mix together, the dough will be wet. When ready to add the dumplings, add heaping spoonfuls of dough to the pot with some space around them for them to expand. Poach for 10 to 15 minutes.
Amazing! I also slightly covered the top to ensure they cooked all the way. Now, you are finally ready to eat!
The dumplings are light as a cloud, not dense at all. They are moist and delicious, the chicken is tender and juicy and the addition of veggies makes you feel loved and cared for. This truly is comfort in a bowl. There is also enough food to feed an army! If you have a big family, this is a dish that will take care of many tummies. I lived on leftovers for days and believe it or not, it tastes even better the next day.
The sauce took a while to come together so I had some problems there but it was probably my fault. This recipe takes a long time to make but you can buy a rotisserie chicken and use boxed stock and probably come up with similar results. Is this the ultimate chicken and dumpling recipe? I gotta say, yes, I think it is. This recipe gets five out of five wooden spoons.