Chicken and Dumplings: American Comfort Food

>> Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Chicken and Dumplings - American Comfort Food

American food gets a bad rap sometimes - unfairly, I think. We're unimaginative, we make unhealthy foods and ridiculous proportions, all we want is fast food.

This is American comfort food. Every tradition has some of these. Chicken and dumplings is a healthy, hearty, and inexpensive dinner that brings my childhood back with every after-dinner burp.

Many Americans have their own version of Chicken and Dumplings, some with light, fluffy bread-like dumplings, but this one makes hearty, egg noodle-like dumplings. It was given to me by my sister-in-law Carolyn Coe, a talented cook who used to work for a restaurant in Clear Lake, Iowa. She's used to cooking for a crowd. She cooks for church events and 4H meetings, and bakes dozens of pies for the County Fair each summer. Watching her wield a paring knife without even looking is like watching a master sculptor.

The original recipe proportions would have fed an entire 4-H troop, so we cut it down to an average family portion. This is especially good in the fall or winter. When the recipe fell out of my cookbook, I was seized with comfort food mania and made it at once.

Chicken and Dumplings


2 eggs
1//3 cup milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour

6 cups chicken stock
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 rib of celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 cups cooked diced chicken


Beat together all dumpling ingredients except flour. Add flour slowly, stirring until smooth and very stiff. Roll out 1/4" thick on a floured surface. Allow to dry one hour. Cut into one inch squares.

Bring chicken stock to a boil. Stir in all vegetables and cook for ten minutes. Add dumplings and cook until tender, approximately 12 minutes. Stir occasionally to avoid sticking. Add chicken and cook for ten more minutes.

Serve in bowls with a side of fruit or a salad.

Serves 4-6.


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