This is embarrassing, but until this weekend I had no idea what a dumpling was. I associated it with it’s Asian cousin the pot sticker – ok gyoza, but really had no clue. I had a predetermined dislike for dumplings based on their named. Too similar to Humpty Dumpty or something.
But…ever since we started dating Jim’s been asking me to learn how to make chicken and dumplings. I’d been successfully procrastinating by not asking his grandma for the recipe, but out of sheer boredom – and love – took the plunge this weekend while I was quarantined with a cold.
The recipe I used came from a google search. I bypassed Rachael Ray and Paula Dean to find a somewhat more generic version (without EVOO – heavens!) from Taste of Home called Grandma’s Chicken and Dumpling Soup. You had me at hello.
The recipe was a tad too complicated for my sick self, in that I was unable to leave the house, so I improvised this into my own version, here goes:
Take a few boneless skinless chicken breasts; boil in 2 qts of water w/ chicken buillon cubes for an hour until chicken is softened.
Skin any foam/fat; Remove and chop chicken then add chopped carrots, celery, onions (as much as you like), a can of cream of chicken soup and a can of cream of mushroom soup, salt and pepper and a bay leaf.
Cook for another hour at a gentle boil.
Then for the Dumplings –
Combine two cups of flour, a tsp of salt and 2 tsp of baking powder. In a separate bowl combine 2 tsp melted butter, 3/4 cup of milk and one beaten egg. Add wet to dry and blend into a stiff mixture. Add salt and pepper. Some of my dumpling research said it should be the consistency of mashed potatoes – but mine was very sticky. I wanted to keep it simple for my first go at dumpling (look at me using it as a verb) but I imagine it’d be delicious to add grated Parmesan cheese or seasoned breadcrumbs to the dough.
Then all you do is drop spoonfuls of the dough into the boiling soup. It made a lot more than I anticipated! Cover the pot and let it cook for about 20 minutes. Tada! All done.
The dumplings make the soup a great creamy consistency – must be all the flour.
I was too sick to remember to take a picture; here’s the one from the recipe site…
Can I note that this experience revealed to me that a dumpling is nothing more than a glorified matzo ball?! Who knew. This was as shocking as learning on a middle school field trip that McDonald’s hash browns are actually big latkes.
In the three years I’ve been dating and cooking for Jim I don’t know that I’ve ever gotten this exuberant of a reaction to anything I’ve created. Unfortunately, I’m so congested that I can’t tell what it tastes like, so you’ll have to try for yourself.