Rainy Day Comfort Food – Chicken + Dumplings

Tuesday was a windy, gloomy, rainy, icky day. And you know what I crave on days like that? A warm, yummy, comforting, and delicious dinner! Blair suggested Pad Thai, because he’s obsessed with it. But I mentioned chicken and dumplings and we were both sold!

So, obviously, on my whole drive home I craved chicken and dumplings. I needed it asap. Unfortunately, this meal takes a little bit of patience while the chicken simmers. Luckily for me, it smells like heaven (and my parents’ house on Thanksgiving while the stuffing bakes!) and is 100% worth the wait. Neither of us could stop remarking about how incredible the house smelled.

I added the veggies, chicken, and water to our dutch oven and got things bubbling. To help pass the time, we headed over to the gym for a quick looong workout. Bootcamp was canceled (sad face) so in my head, I’d do a decent 40 minute run. Blair wanted to do an hour. He won. I took my time with a slow 10 minute warmup and an easy 4 mile run at a 9:28 pace. I’m calling it “active recovery” but I wasn’t really recovering from anything. Oh well – I got sweaty and that’s all that matters.

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By the time we got home, I was slightly cranky because I was hungry hangry. Have you heard this term? Fits me to a T.

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Anyway, back to dinner. I set Blair to the task of shredding the chicken. After over an hour of simmering, it basically fell apart. I got to work making dumplings. Think making dumplings is hard? Think again! 3 ingredients, 5 minutes. Delish.

Overall, this dinner took about 2 hours to prepare – but you could definitely do it faster if you needed. We took our time and thoroughly enjoyed both cooking and eating. We paired the deliciously comforting soup with garlic bread and fresh butter. Mmmm. We have about 50 gallons of leftovers to munch on and freeze for another rainy day – wonder what the forecast looks like later this week? πŸ˜‰


Chicken and Dumplings
Yields ~12 cups. Adapted from Food Network – Paula Deen

Chicken
– 1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (~1.5 pounds)
– 1 package boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~1 pound)
– 5 stalks celery, chopped
– 1 1/2 sweet onions, chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 2 chicken bouillon cubes
– 12 cups water
– 2 bay leaves
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 can cream of celery soup

Dumplings
– 2 cups flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 3/4 cup ice water

Combine chicken, water, veggies, and seasonings (all but cream of celery soup) in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Simmer for at least 40 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Simmering longer will result in easier to shred (and tastier, in my opinion) chicken.

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Remove chicken from pot, let cool, and shred. Return to simmering pot to keep warm. Taste test broth for seasonings – we needed more salt at this point. Add cream of celery soup and stir. If you’d like a thicker broth, mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup water and pour into broth. (Don’t add corn starch directly to hot liquids – you’ll get icky clumps!)

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Prepare the dumplings. Add flour and salt to a large mixing bowl, stir to combine. Slowly drizzle in ~3/4 cup ice water and mix with your fingers until combined, roll into a ball. Dust work surface with a few tablespoons of flour, drop dough onto flour and roll to ~1/8 inch thickness. Let dough rest for a few minutes. Cut into 1-inch squares.

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Tear each square in half, drop lightly into soup. Don’t stir! Let dumplings cook 4-5 minutes, or until they float. Now you can stir! Mix together, ladle into the biggest soup bowls you have, and enjoy the warmth of home style comfort food. πŸ™‚

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3 thoughts on “Rainy Day Comfort Food – Chicken + Dumplings

  1. Pingback: Chicken Noodle Soup for the Soul :) | it's sweet for certain

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