First of all, let me state, for the record that I do not consider this dish to be “authentic” or “homestyle” in any way. Although these are very delicious and have that slow-cooked taste, I do not count them as real chicken and dumplings. (There, Nana – that’s for you)
I found this recipe on one of my favorite food blogs – The Bitten Word and knew I wanted to try it. But first let me tell you – REAL, honest-to-goodness chicken and dumplings (or chicken-n-dumplins, as it is pronounced down here) are something I don’t cook. I won’t. I have no desire to. Because no matter how hard I try, or how delicious they may turn out to be, they’ll never be half as good as my Nana’s. That’s a recipe you just don’t mess with – it’s been around for…forever. All my grandmother has to do is pick up the phone to any one of us, be it my parents, my sister’s family, my family or my uncle’s family, and say, “I’m making chicken-n-dumplins..” and we’re THERE. Hubby and I live an hour away from Nana and Grandaddy, but we’ll gladly make the drive on any given day, in a moment’s notice for her chicken and dumplings.
So with that being said, I’ll go on with this recipe. These are what I like to think of as “Yankee” chicken and dumplings (no disrespect to you northerners out there), because they have carrots, onion, celery and white wine. The ultimate recipe (i.e. Nana’s) are made with just chicken, broth and dumplings. Also – they’re not “real” because the dumpling part is made with frozen biscuits, instead of a homemade dough. But, sometimes you need just such a recipe for nights when you want that home-cooked taste without standing over the stove for hours and hours. And these are PERFECT for that.
After making these – I’d have to say that they’re some of the best chicken and dumplings I’ve ever had. Hubby couldn’t say enough good things about them – he went on and on about how amazing they were. And the whole meal (minus the time it took to cook my chicken all day in the crockpot) took about 20 minutes to make!! You can’t beat that! I added some cornstarch to make it extra thick and creamy and a little butter – because Nana told me to – and it really added to the richness and creaminess. I cooked 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken thighs for about 4 hours on high in my crockpot and they were so tender and moist. The only seasonings I used were salt and pepper – and lots of it. That’s all you need.
Easy Homemade Chicken and Dumplings
-The Bitten Word
1/4 cup olive oil
4 chicken thighs, bone in (or 4 bone-in or boneless chicken breasts)
2 medium onions, diced
2 cups diced carrots
2 cups diced celery
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 tablespoon salt (plus more to taste)
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground pepper (plus more to taste)
6 cups chicken stock
4 frozen biscuits (such as Pillsbury Grands Frozen Biscuits), thawed enough to cut into pieces
Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat half of the olive oil (1/8 cup) in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken, turning the pieces so that all sides are slightly brown, about 3 to 4 minutes for each side. Remove the chicken pieces and place on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the remaining 1/8 cup of olive oil to the pot, along with the onions. Saute the onions until they’re soft, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, and white wine. Scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Saute, stirring frequently, for another 6 minutes. Add the chicken back to the pot. Cover the meat and vegetables with chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for 90 minutes. (This step is especially flexible. If your liquid is reducing too much, you may need to add more chicken stock. If the dish is too liquidy, turn up the heat and to reduce the stock more. The idea is to end up with a consistency of a very thick stew.) If the broth is not as thick as you would like, remove one cup of the broth into a measuring cup and whisk in 1 tablespoon of corn starch. Return the broth to the pot and stir. Remove chicken pieces with tongs and allow them to cool. Debone the chicken and shred the meat into small pieces. Return to the pot. Cut the frozen biscuits into thirds. Drop the pieces onto the top of the chicken and vegetable mixture. Cover and cook on medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the dumplings are cooked through. Serve immediately.
*NOTE: I did mine a little differently – since I cooked my chicken in the crockpot, I just added it (with all of its juice) to the broth and cooked vegetables, then dropped my biscuits in. Much easier, I think!
We both thought these were excellent. I would make these again in a heartbeat. I just hope Nana doesn’t disown me…