Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bowl of Comfort

Oh my goodness.

A heaping bowl of goodness.

Jon-boy has a cold and I decided he needed some food love. So I made him chicken and dumpling soup. From scratch.

It turned out to be phenomenal.

It started with some simple ingredients. Water, bullion base, chicken, and few aromatics. That simmered away for about an hour and made this GORGEOUS base for my soup:

The color doesn't translate well onto my camera- it was a dark carmel color. It was perfectly clear. I was so proud I made Jon come and look at it :) I could have just had the stock for supper and been happy.

Making the stock from scratch left me with this chicken that is infused with great flavor. YUM.

Then we came to the dumplings. I always sift my dry ingredients together when I make dumplings. And I always use my dad's flour sifter for this step. This makes my dumplings light and airy.

After all that work I ended up with a big ol' bowl of love for my honey. It was delicious.

Creamy, flavorful, down-home. Comfort and love. All that in one bowl.

You could easily use store bought chicken stock instead of making your own. And substitute a baking mix like Bisquick for your dumplings. But, I wanted to do the entire recipe from scratch. It was well worth the effort.

Don't be turned off by the lengthy recipe. It's fairly easy and hands off. And, if you make the substitutions I listed above it can be done even quicker.

Here's to you and your culinary adventures, friends. Cheers!

Chicken and Dumpling Soup
Serves 6
334 calories per

1 (4-pound) whole chicken, cut up (I used a pre-cut whole chicken)
12 cups water
2 TBS chicken bouillon
2 TBS beef bouillon
1 large onion, cut into large wedges
1 cup rough chopped celery
1 cup rough chopped carrot
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
4 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 ounce)
2 tsp cornstarch
3 TBS heavy cream*

3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk **
1 large egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1 3/4 cups flour
1 TBS baking powder
1 TBS cornmeal
1/2 tsp garlic salt

Remaining ingredients:
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Freshly ground black pepper

To prepare stew, remove and discard giblets and neck from chicken. Rinse chicken with cold water, and place chicken in an 8-quart stockpot. Add 3 quarts water, bouillon and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaves); bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes; skim surface occasionally, discarding solids. Remove chicken from pot; cool. Strain stock through a sieve into a large bowl, and discard solids. Remove chicken meat from bones; tear chicken meat into 2-inch pieces, and store in refrigerator. Let stock cool to room temperature.

Let stock stand in a bowl in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Discard fat from the surface. Bring stock to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 8 cups (about 15 minutes).

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon 1/4 cup flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Add flour to pan; cook 1 minute or until lightly browned, stirring constantly. Combine browned flour and cornstarch in a large bowl; add 2/3 cup stock to flour mixture, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to remaining stock in pan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cream. Add chicken; keep warm over low heat.

To prepare dumplings, combine 1% low-fat milk and egg in a medium bowl. Lightly spoon 1 3/4 cups of all-purpose flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the flour, baking powder, cornmeal, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add flour mixture to milk mixture, stirring with a fork just until dry ingredients are moistened. This should be fairly stiff but still sticky.

Drop one-third of dumpling batter by 8 heaping teaspoonfuls onto chicken mixture. Cover and cook for 3 minutes or until the dumplings are done (do not allow chicken mixture to boil). Remove dumplings with a slotted spoon; place in a large serving bowl or on a deep serving platter; keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining dumpling batter.

Remove pan from heat; slowly pour stew over dumplings. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Serve immediately.

* I used fat free half and half.
**I used 1/2 cup skim milk and 1/4 cup fat free half and half.


  1. you did good on pictures Becca.

    I so want to make this.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Thank you :)

    I hope you do, you'd love it.