I tried a recipe for chicken and dumplings last night that has many, many reviews saying how wonderful it turned out. I cannot understand it because I followed the recipe to the letter, with the exception of the thyme garnish and it was horrible! The dumplings were supposed to be more of a noodle type of dumpling than a drop dumpling. Mine ended up gummy and pasty and almost disintegrated by the end of the cooking time. We merely gave this dish a small taste, after which I was in the car, gunning for town and the nearest burger joint with a drive through.
I would try the recipe again but I think my results would be the same since I am certain I followed the recipe correctly. So I have decided to do a Recipe Rescue on this!
To save this recipe I need to first figure out what went wrong. The broth was just store bought chicken stock so I do not think that was an issue. Although, is it just me, or have broths and stocks gotten much saltier? I am going to pass on any but low or no-sodium varieties from now on. The chicken was cooked and shredded boneless chicken thighs. Again, probably not the problem, but this time I will use white meat. I think the problem in this recipe lies solely in the dumplings. I searched the internet to find other recipes for this noodle style of dumpling. The one thing that jumped out at me was the much faster cooking time of these recipes than the original. The comparison recipes had the cooking time as low as five minutes while the original had it at 15-20 minutes. That may be the reason the dumplings seemed to disintegrate into a gummy paste. I also found references to using water instead of milk in the dough for a lighter dumpling. Several recipes called for egg as well. Armed with this information I set about recreating the recipe.
This is the new and improved version of the original recipe. While it was ok, I probably won’t make it again. Michael and I both like the drop style dumplings better than the rolled out noodle style. But the addition of some egg, less milk, and more butter did result in a much better tasting and certainly better textured dumpling. I reduced the cooking time by half as well. If you have a good recipe for chicken and dumplings please feel free to share it! Here’s the recipe.
- 2-3 cups rotisserie chicken shredded
- 48 ounces low sodium chicken stock
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 5 TBS butter, cut into small pieces
- 1 egg slightly beaten
- ½ cup milk
- ½ cup water
- Fresh chopped thyme
- Heat the chicken stock to boiling. Add the chicken and gently simmer while preparing dumpling dough. To prepare the dough add the flour to a large bowl with the baking powder and salt. mix with a fork. Add the small pieces of butter and cut them in until the chunks are gone. You can use a pastry blender or your fingers. Add the egg, milk and water and stir until a soft dough forms. Do not over work it. Generously flour the surface you plan to roll the dough out on. Reserve extra flour for the rolling pin. Place the dough on the floured surface and rotate it to cover all sides. It will be soft. Using a floured rolling pin, roll the dough out to about a ¼ inch thickness. Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife the cut the dough into 1" squares.
- Remove the chicken from the broth with a slotted spoon. Increase the heat to bring the broth to a rolling boil. Add ¼ tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves. Drop the dumplings, one at a time into the boiling broth. Allow the dumplings to cook until they float to the surface, about 5-7 minutes total. The extra flour on the dumplings should slightly thicken the broth. Serve piping hot with a good crusty bread.