The next time you’re with a bunch of people who love food like you do, ask them what their favorite comfort food is. I’m guessing you’ll hear quite a few votes for chicken and dumplings among the food lovers. Even though many chicken recipes are comforting, there is still nothing like a big pot of chicken and dumplings to warm the heart and soul – and to make you want to take a little sleepy time!
Each person and each family has their own opinion of what a real chicken and dumplings meal should be. Depending on where you grew up and how your folks cooked would determine how you prefer making this chicken recipe. Let’s examine a couple basic differences in some simple chicken and dumplings cooking methods.
We begin with the chicken in the pot. You may believe that all chicken and dumplings recipes begin with a simple, clear broth style chicken vegetable soup. Many do, in fact. This method, making a pot of your favorite chicken soup, then adding the dumplings, is a very popular and well loved method. By making your chicken and dumplings this way you can be guaranteed that everyone will love it – after all they love your soup already!
Then there’s the creamy pot of chicken style of chicken and dumplings. This is a warm and wonderful dish that is less like chicken soup and more like a chicken stew. You cook the chicken in a little water or broth until tender, then take the meat off the bone and shred. To the pot you add the chicken back in, then add sour cream, more broth, and some vegetables. When that comes back up to a simmer, you drop in your dumplings. This is a very rich and creamy dish with many varieties. It differs from the clear broth type of chicken and dumplings based on chicken soup.
Baking chicken pieces in a Dutch oven is another method to use for creating a chicken and dumpling meal. After fully baking the chicken pieces, you take the Dutch oven out, put it on top of the stove, add liquid, like broth or water, and bring the pot up to a boil. You can add in any vegetables you want at this time. Then once the vegetables soften, you can drop in the dumplings as usual and complete the meal. The chicken pieces remain intact rather than shredding them. It’s not a clear broth style, nor a creamy style, This is sort of an oven baked style.
The subject of dumplings could be exhausting. We tend to take our dumplings quite seriously. However, some prefer to speed up the process and swear by the simple store bought biscuit, cut up and dropped into the chicken pot. Others prefer to whip up a simple dumpling with basic ingredients like flour, eggs, oil, salt, and ice water. You can even make dumplings with just flour, salt, and ice water. You can also make them a bit fancy with the addition of seasonings, cheese, and herbs.
Regardless of the recipe you use for dumplings, the trick is in the cooking. However, there is no “one and only” method for cooking that defies all other methods. You’ll find that some recipes call for putting the lid on the pot while cooking your dumplings while others say the cover has to stay off. It doesn’t really matter because you’ll find what works for you for each recipe. Finding the right recipe will be a labor of love, which is all that matters!
As you develop your own personal favorite chicken and dumplings recipes, don’t fret about how each recipe differs so much. Like many comfort foods, this is another dish that most likely was created out of trial and error and with the food in supply during a cold, dark winter’s day. After every attempt at making this much loved dish, you’ll be able to look at a whole new collection of recipes for chicken and dumplings that were created by you and you alone! Enjoy!
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