I love it when I get to start the week by sharing something hot and comforting like what I’m sharing today.
I know that we all have our own different food preferences and I that the flavors we’re in the mood for usually change back and forth along with the season. Something I think is universally true though, is that there are a few specific types of food that hit home every time no matter who you are and chicken and dumplings is one of them. It’s just a major winner and I don’t see it going out of fashion anytime soon. It’s just too much of a favorite for that.
For those of you who have been following the blog you’ll already know this, but in case you missed it, I have 14 people living in my home at the moment. I know, craziness. I’ve been loving the challenge of coming up with foods that everyone likes, but it is just that, a challenge. That’s why classics like this are my lifesaver right now. Whenever a big pot of soup is on the stove wafting its delicious aroma through the whole house there is almost a tangible boost in everyone’s moods. I love that about comfort food. I mean, how can you not get excited at the smell of chicken soup? It’s the best!
It’s always funny to me how the kids will go for simple flavors and basic things in almost every case scenario, but especially during the colder parts of the year. It’s not just the shorties though, now that I’ve got more “grown-ups” around I’m realizing this everyday. I can spend hours working on an elaborate meal with all these complex flavors and ingredients only to have someone prefer to eat a pb&j. But you know what? That’s totally cool, I’m learning to not let this bother me. To each their own. There is definitely something to be said about simple things in life being best.
So this soup is really easy to make and my favorite part about it is that you start by making your own stock. That’s right, so step away form that bottle of caramel colored, sodium water and rejoice in the magic of starting with real ingredients. Another thing I wanted to tell you guys is that this recipe can be done two different ways, either with a whole uncooked chicken or with a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken. I personally prefer the latter because the roasted flavor from the rotisserie is just so delish, but both are good.
I’ve included the two versions in the recipe so feel free to try either or both of them and compare for yourself. Then you add your veggies, and by the way, you can mix and match based on your family’s taste. I’d usually add carrots too, but I completely spaced and realized too late that I’d forgot to put them on my list and we didn’t have any when I needed them. Yep, how brilliant I am at planning ahead.
Alright, so this recipe is something that I would make any time of the year, but I think it’s especially fitting for the holiday season. It’s one of those meals that simply screams of nostalgia, comfort, and southern heritage. I honestly can’t think of anything that sounds better right now than serving such a cozy family dinner when I know it’s such a crowd pleaser. I hope you enjoy it!
- 1 (2 1/2 pound) chicken, with skin (or 1 rotisserie chicken)
- 4 quarts water
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups whole kernal corn
- 2 cups sweet peas
- 3 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 6 tablespoons butter, cold
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup whole milk
- Place the chicken in a large pot along with the water and other ingredients for the soup and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low and cover. Simmer for 30 to 35 minutes until the chicken in cooked through.
- While the soup simmers, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder for dumplings in a medium mixing bowl. Grate the cold butter into the dry mixture and use a fork to finish cutting it in until it's evenly mixed and crumbly. Pour the milk into the mixture stir well until it comes together into a rough dough.
- Once the chicken is cooked, remove from pot and set aside to cool until you're able to handle it. Use a dough scoop or tablespoon to drop large chunks of the the dumpling dough into the boiling soup and repeat until all the dough has been added. Cool the dumplings in the broth for 12 to 15 minutes until done (they'll begin to sink a little bit). Whisk the flour and milk in a small glass until completely smooth and pour into the soup. Stir well until the broth begins to thicken then reduce heat to lowest setting.
- Separate the chicken meat from the bones and skin and discard everything except the meat. Cut the meat into small chunks and add it to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.
- Take the chicken apart first and place everything except the meat in your pot. Add the 4 quarts of water and boil for 30 minutes, then remove from heat and strain through a mesh strainer to remove everything. After that, return the pot to heat and add the other ingredients for the soup to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes.
- While the soup simmers, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder for dumplings in a medium mixing bowl. Grate the cold butter into the dry mixture and use a fork to finish cutting it in until it's evenly mixed. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and pour into the mixture along with the water. Stir well until it comes together into a rough dough.
- Use a dough scoop or tablespoon to drop large chunks of the the dumpling dough into the boiling soup and repeat until all the dough has been added. Cool the dumplings in the broth for 12 to 15 minutes until done (they'll begin to sink a little bit). Whisk the flour and milk in a small glass until completely smooth and pour into the soup. Stir well until the broth begins to thicken then reduce heat to lowest setting. Cut the meat into small chunks and add it to the soup. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot.
As an alternative to using a raw chicken, I like to use rotisserie chicken instead for the flavor it gives. If you want to do it this way I've included both versions.