When I make chicken and dumplings I usually have to use Bisquick. I have tied to make dumplings from scratch, but Jan has never liked my attempts which usually come out as tasteless, dense sinkers. She only likes the fluffy ones produced from Bisquick, which I find way too salty.
In addition to an enormous amount of salt, Bisquick has a lot of shortening included. I had the thought that Jan does like my scones. What if I cut some butter into the dumplings and used softer flour? Could I make a dumpling that would make us both happy?
Many of the chicken and dumpling recipes I have looked at call only for a standard mirepoix, onions, carrots and celery. I tend to make mine with whatever I have on hand. Today I have some left over kale, green cabbage and leeks. So I will be adding these. Jan has been encouraging me to use more vegetables than meat in my dishes.
After Dinner Note: This was the best chicken and dumplings I have ever made. The dumpling were rich and fluffy. Chicken was perfectly tender. The stew was balanced and hearty. Eilene doesn’t even like dumplings (“soggy bread!”), but both she and her mother went back for seconds.
Karl’s Chicken and Butter Dumplings
¾ cup cake flour
¾ cup flour, all-purpose
3 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
3 Tbs. butter
4 Tbs. minced fresh parsley, separate uses
1 cup milk
1 lb. chicken, boneless breasts and thighs
¼ cup flour, all-purpose
Pinch salt and pepper
2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. olive oil
½ cup onion, finely diced
½ cup finely, diced celery
¼ cup carrots, finely diced
½ cup cabbage, shredded
½ cup kale, shredded and packed tightly
2 leeks chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, sliced thin
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. thyme
¼ tsp. turmeric
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup cream (half and half)
1. Sift together all dry ingredients three or four times to thoroughly mix them.
2. Slice the butter into thin pats and cut it into small pieces with a pastry cutter.
Tip: If you do not have a pastry cutter you may use a fork or squeeze the butter with your fingers until it resembles crumbs. However, be careful not to melt the butter into the flour.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
4. Cut chicken into large bite sized pieces.
5. Mix the salt, pepper and flour together and put in on a plate.
6. Dredge the chicken to coat it with the flour.
7. Melt butter in a pot over medium-high heat. In batches, brown chicken on both sides and remove to a plate.
8. Without cleaning the pot, add the olive oil, diced onion, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes over medium-low heat until the onions are starting to pick up some color.
9. Add the cabbage, kale and leeks and continue cooking for about five minutes. Stir frequently.
10. Pull the vegetables to the side of the pot and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the pepper, thyme and turmeric.
11. Stir in the chicken broth and wine.
12. Add the chicken and stir to combine.
13. Cover pot and simmer for 20 minutes.
Tip: While chicken is simmering, finish making the dumplings.
14. Add 2 tablespoons of the minced parsley to the flour and stir to combine.
15. Add the milk to the dry ingredients and gently fold the dough with a spatula.
16. When there is no more dry flour showing, stop and let the dough rest for 5-10 minutes.
Tip: You do not want to overwork the dough. The more you work it, the more gluten is created. This is a good thing for breads, but a bad thing for tender dumplings. Resting your dough allows the last of the dry flour to absorb the last of the liquid without creating more gluten.
17. Stir in the remaining parsley and check the seasoning of the stew and add salt and pepper, if needed.
18. Stir in the cream and then drop 1-2 tablespoon scoops of dough into the soup.
19. After you have added all of the dumplings to the stew, half cover the pot and simmer for ten minutes.
20. Fully cover the pot and simmer for 5 more minutes.
21. Remove the pot from the heat, cover the pot and let the dumplings steam for 5 more minutes.